In Conversation with Tema Smith on Being Black and Jewish in North America

Image description: Tema Smith, curly haired and bespectacled, smiling.  Some time in March of 2021, I had the opportunity to speak to Tema Smith, who describes herself as a “diversity advocate, writer, and Jewish community builder.” My conversation with her took place via Zoom (as all pandemic-lockdown interviews happen to take place). From the comfort […]

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We “See You”: The Importance of Representation in sitcoms like ‘Kim’s Convenience’

Image Description: A still from the sitcom ‘Kim’s Convenience’ showing the exterior of the titular convenience store In an  early episode of Kim’s Convenience, a gag is made when one of the main characters, (Janet), her cousin from Korea (Nayoung), and Janet’s two non-Korean friends get confused by the complex linguistic formalities of familial address […]

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The sounds of the outsider

Image Description: Stormzy performing at a festival, with a dark background and red white lights around him.  Much of British culture can be simmered down to the constantly brewing tensions  between the elite and the outsiders that refuse to commit the sin of deference. Even though everything I write seems to conclude with me despairing […]

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Ramadan: Abroad in Covid-times

Image description: A silhouette against an orange sky. If you were to ask any Muslim to describe their typical Ramadan, you will soon find a theme emerging from their answers; family, food, festivities. If you were to ask for a standout feature of Ramadan, most would highlight the community spirit. The string binding all these […]

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She calls a taxi

Image Description: Painting of a girl upon a blue background looking at an empty taxi    The day the quarantine ended was the day we matriculated. We could not wait to see each other in real life. I remember she got a taxi to my place. She took the initiative.   Over the previous three […]

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I am encountering you

Image Description: A young woman reads by candlelight in a dark room.    Different modes of conversation have entirely different effects. How does one situate continuous daily conversation in the context of artistic research? How does one make the phrase ‘understand others’ accessible and narrow down the word ‘others’? I look to my surrounding friends. […]

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“Rip out my native tongue”: The violent effects of our racist cultural consciousness on the Asian community

Image Description: A woman wearing a mask being confronted by shadow figures  Back when I used to have Tinder, the most common greeting I received was: ‘Hi Jackie Chan.’ ‘OMG Jackie Chan.’ Or: ‘I’ve never had an Asian before. I’d like to try it.’ Whilst the former was a pathetic attempt at a joking association […]

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