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Showing posts from October, 2019

We must believe in our souls that we are somebody

Colson Whitehead once again brings American history to the forefront through the eyes of two boys, who have been sentenced to Nickel Academy, a "hellish reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida". 

Elwood Curtis wasn't supposed to end up at the school. He was a good kid by all means. But one stupid innocent mistake costs him dearly. Being coloured in the early 1960s in Jim Crow South was bound to catch up with this kid. Until that moment of his arrest, Elwood had lived his entire life as an exemplary kid, who embodied the traits of honour and courage. His grandmother had done a good job raising him. 

At a young age both white and black folks noticed this about Elwood. "White men were always extending offers of work to Elwood, recognizing his industrious nature and steady character, or at least recognizing that he carried himself differently than other coloured boys his age and taking this for industry." 

But in a town like Jim Crow South, you have to watch your back a…

"This is a child...society should be horrified."

The stories about the tragedy of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls has been gaining momentum in the last few years. Journalists have exposed the injustices and missing pieces of how the justice system has failed the Indigenous community. Tanya Talaga, an Anishinaabe Canadian journalist and author, was amongst the first few investigative reporters for the Toronto Star, who shed light on this issue, when she investigated the deaths of seven First Nations youths in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Sh brought that story to the nation in her 2017 book Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death and Hard Truths.

Now reporter and former BBC producer, Joanna Jolly, brings to light the tragedy of Tina Fontaine, who was a young fifteen-year-old Indigenous schoolgirl from the Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba. She went missing in July 2014 and her body was found wrapped in plastic and a duvet cover in Winnipeg's Red River on Aug. 17, 2014. 
Red River Woman was first published as a multimedia artic…

Taking a walk through memory lane

What's your favourite memory? 
Don't think too much, just answer the question as quickly as you can. 

Happiness is the sum of our beautiful memories. But have you wondered how the perfect memory is created and how does one memory stacks up in importance over another? This is one of the things that Meik Wiking sought to uncover with his research at the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen. 

You'll remember Meik Wiking as the international bestselling author of The Little Book of Hygge and The Little Book of Lykke. In his new bookThe Art of Making Memories, he explores the process behind how peak experiences are made, stored and remembered. The book is meant to be a bit of a self-help guide to help you retrieve happy memories of the past, and store them for the future. 

According the The Art Of Making Memories there are 
8 ingredients for making happy memories. 
1. You have to harness the power of firsts. Seek out novel experiences and make days extraordinary. 
2. Make it mul…

If a photograph could talk

While one photograph captures a moment in time, its repercussions last a lifetime.

The Story of Painting

Drawing through time

The generation that's grown up in the digital age won't understand this, but it used to be that if you wanted to be an artist, drawing was considered a basic skill that one had to master before they moved on to painting or sculpture. 

It makes sense that people began to draw long before they could write. Drawing has been a form of creative expression that has few limitations. Palaeolithic drawings were scratched into rock or made with charcoal left over from fires and with flakes of naturally occurring chalk. 

In ancient Egypt, the tools used for drawing included reed pens and papyrus. 

In Europe, monks decorated illuminated manuscripts of religious texts during the middle ages.

Throughout the Renaissance era, people drew to study nature and human anatomy. It was only later from the 1800s onward that drawings became more refined and began to be seen as a work of art. New materials and modified techniques evolved, and drawing became much more about expression an…

Great Paintings: Guernica Decoded

The World's Masterpieces Explored and Explained. 

If a painting could speak, what would it say to you? Great paintings have hidden layers of meaning, but once you begin to unravel the clues, you may come closer to the true intent of the piece. Set in a period of time, for one they encapsulate a moment in history, that goes beyond what the history books tell you. You see beyond the colours and grasp the subtleties of the situation. Thoughts and feelings are all...
Art enthusiasts know that they never get tired of spending time staring at their favourite painting. It's hypnotic staring at a life sized painting of an artist that you admire. 

Take for example one of the most striking images of 20th-century art, Pablo Picasso's Guernica, a nightmare vision of violence, pain and chaos. 

Regardless of being painted with a monochromatic nighttime hue, Guernica oozes of vibrant energy. Jagged, fragmented forms and distorted faces, effectively create an atmosphere of panic and terror. S…

Night of Power

Once in a while a book comes along that is relatable and diverse, and makes you feel like you are better for reading it. 
Night of Power by Anar Ali surprised me. With a poignantly accessible style of prose that's far from rudimentary, Night of Power invites its readers into the lives of a family settled in Calgary for the past 25 years. Favouring clarity and succinctness over verbosity, Anar Ali's novel gives readers the permission to intimately bear witness to each character, as he or she struggles to fit into a world that's handed down to them.
Mansoon Visram came to Canada from Uganda, with his wife Layla and son Ashif, when the dictator Idi Amin expelled South Asians from the country. Starting over in another country is never easy. Mansoor was born and brought up in Africa, but tried to do his best to recreate the life they had before. His father created an empire out of nothing. But, the struggle has been evident. Having to work as a car salesman in his earlier years, …