Muslim Link interviewed Ethiopian Canadian arts educator Timaj Garad. Timaj is a Toronto-based multi-disciplinary artist, using poetry and theatre to bring stories to life. Her art is auto-biographical, working at the intersections of a black Muslim woman challenging injustice, unearthing truths, and healing. As an award-winning artist and educator, Timaj Garad has graced over 200 stages and facilitated several arts-based workshops. She whole-heartedly believes in the transformative power of the arts and is dedicated to engaging youth in critical arts education initiatives to uplift, inspire, and build ethical communities.
On Saturday, October 21, folks in Toronto had an opportunity to hear from some emerging artists from Canada’s vibrant Black Muslim community. The Stars Within Us: A Black Muslimah Poetry & Theatre Showcase will debut original works developed in the Stellar (R)evolution (cycle 1) workshop series, a SPARK Cultural Hotspot program created and facilitated by Timaj Garad in partnership with the City of Toronto, also supported by I-Insight and the Children's Peace Theatre.
Muslim Link interviewed Spoken word poet Timaj Garad and two workshop participants, Shukria D. and Hafsa Ali, who performed on Saturday, about why it is important to create spaces for young Black Muslim Canadian women to share their stories through art.
Jamaal Jackson Rogers was named Ottawa's English-language Poet Laureate by Mayor Jim Watson in March. Rogers, a spoken word artist, arts educator, residential counsellor for adults with disabilities, and creative director of Origin Arts and Community Centre, will be the city's first poet laureate in over 25 years.
Jamaal Jackson Rogers is a Black Muslim Canadian Spoken Word poet in Ottawa. He has coached and supported several of the city’s up and coming Spoken Word poets. Muslim Link interviewed him about his personal journey as an artist.
Sudanese Canadian Spoken Word poet Roua Aljied, 19, has become well-known in Ottawa as an artist willing to tackle controversial topics such as the rights of Palestinians during last year’s Gaza War with her poem “We are Still Here” to challenging rape culture with her poem “Looking Over Her Shoulder” which was performed at Ottawa City Hall for the launch of last year’s 16 Days Against Gender Violence.
Edmontonian Spoken Word poet Nasra Adem was in Ottawa in August to perform in the Artistic Showcase of the Youth Can Slam National Youth Poetry Festival. But she’s no stranger to the Nation’s Capital. “That was like 10 years of my life!” Nasra, who’s only 20, exclaimed.
Gaza, and Palestine in general, has always been portrayed through the gory images of bombings, the dead and the injured, bloodshed and tons of rubble and destruction. Although this is an ugly reality that should never be concealed from the eyes of the international audience that observe the goings-on in Palestine through the media, there is no personal connection that is made with the Palestinian people where they can be recognized for the things that make people human. What many people end up being surprised to realize is that Gaza, outside the scope of war and violence, is a beautiful city full of people that are immersed with the love for their culture, traditions, cuisine, history, and nation.