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The Gravedigger’s Wife: Hunting dead bodies for a living

In tiff by Amani Omar September 25, 2021

Plot: ‘The Gravedigger’s wife’ is a film that revolves around Guled, a man who has been earning money as a gravedigger in order to provide for his son, Mahad, and sick wife, Nasra. As Nasra’s health declines, Guled is seen to go through many difficulties to earn money and ensure his wife’s Kidney surgery and treatment.  Review:  In his debut …

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A Quiet Struggle that Speaks Volumes.

In tiff by Reina Cowan September 25, 2021

“I think you’re trying to capture the audience. Not really trying to explain every bit of what’s going on in your mind, but to make them believe in that moment that you’re going through something. And that they went through that something with you, even without words or meaning. I think the purpose is to pass a message,” says Sheila, …

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Rebecaa Huntt’s debut film takes no prisoners and leaves many casualties

In tiff by Chidera Ukairo September 25, 2021

Plot Summary: Beba is a documentary autobiography that peels back the layers of filmmaker Rebeca Huntt’s life and exposes all, or most of its skeletons. Huntt’s debut film explores race, class, and her ancestry authentically. She dives deep into the story of how her family came to live in New York, the wounds and tensions between family members that span …

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Lingui, The Sacred Bonds:
A Stab At Patriarchy

In tiff by Halima Aliyu September 25, 2021

While some films have the potential to be unappealing, others have the power and capability to be influential. “Lingui: The Scared Bonds” is the latter, a film that sheds light on the experiences of resilient Chadian women and promotes social issues that women in many communities have been battling.  Directed by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, the film revolves around Amina (Achouackh Abakar …

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‘Out of Sync’ hides its best moments out of sight

In tiff by Cadeem Lalor September 25, 2021

PLOT:The film is the latest from Spanish director Juanjo Gimenez, whose filmography includes documentaries and short films (the idea for this film began as a short story idea). “Out of Sync” stars Marta Nieto in the lead role of an unnamed sound designer, who has to leave work after her hearing becomes out of sync. The condition starts with simple …

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Yuni: A story of defiance, bravery and freedom

In tiff by Chidera Ukairo September 25, 2021

Plot Summary: Kamila Andini’s latest film, Yuni, is a coming-of-age story that follows the life of a teenage Indonesian girl trying to figure out who and what she wants to be. Yuni is an intelligent high-school girl with a loving family, a group of close friends, a rebellious personality and an obsession for the colour purple. Her dream to go …

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I am now looking to my queer ancestors.

In Season 2 To Be by Iqra Abid September 6, 2021

Growing up, I often felt lost, endlessly searching for unfathomable answers and some kind of purpose. The question of “who am I?” would ring loudly in my head and sometimes, it still does. In my attempts to understand my own being, I would find myself stuck in cycles of denial and hesitancy, struggling to come to terms with my seemingly …

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A Life Well Lived

In Season 2 To Be by Elizabeth Oyegunle September 6, 2021

What does living a meaningful life mean? As humans, we tend to seek experiences that help determine whether we are living full and meaningful lives or not. For some, meaning can be found through professional success; for others, meaning parallels hard to define concepts such as happiness. I am in a period of my life where I am unravelling my …

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Am I South Indian or Christian?

In Season 2 To Be by Amanda Jeysing September 6, 2021

The academic racial quota was a routine proceeding during my fundamental years at my all-girls high school in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. When our teacher asked students of each ethnic group to raise their hands, we obliged without a second thought.  The majority of students in each class were Malays, followed by Chinese and Indians. According to public school protocol, Eurasians …

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Soul Revisited

In Season 2 To Be by Chidera Ukairo September 6, 2021

The pandemic exhausted me mentally, physically and emotionally. There were and, in many ways, continue to be no breaks from trauma on personal, societal and ecological levels. I’d never in my life looked for peace and comfort as much as I did and continue to. At a critical moment in life, when there was so much loss and unknown, all …

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Hope through time can make a great a story

In Season 2 To Be by Anu Makinde September 6, 2021

Nelson Mandela’s book Conversations With Myself has been my version of a frayed blanket that travels through life with me. Like a gift endowed at birth, this book met my fresh hope at 10 years old to teach me an abundance of lessons. I remember how my heart felt on that day after school; the book displayed on the news, …

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All That’s Left Behind

In Season 2 To Be by Rhonda Nebiyou September 6, 2021

For my entire life, I have felt like an outsider looking in. Growing up, there were a lot of ways I knew I was different that would crop up at different ages. Obscure and obsessive interests, and touch aversion immediately come to mind, but some of my earliest and most distinct memories surround my preoccupation with patterns. I see them …

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Tuesdays are for the Ocean.

In Season 2 To Be by Abena Peprah September 6, 2021

Tuesdays are for the Ocean. Sundays are for the universe. Mondays are for peace. Wednesdays are for the spider. Thursdays are for the earth. Fridays are for fertility. Saturdays are for God. When we look to Ghanaian naming traditions, a name marks a person’s place and signifies belonging to a spirit, to a history, to a circumstance. You may find …

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What Ghana’s anti-gay bill means for PanAfricanism and the African Return Movement

In Season 2 To Be by TRAD September 6, 2021

Ghana made headlines at the end of July when the draft of an anti-gay legislation bill was submitted to its Parliament, proposing up to 10 years in jail for anyone identifying as gay or even advocating for LGBTQ rights. This bill seeks to legalize conversion therapy and force intersex people to undergo “gender realignment” surgery and emerges after a year …

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Featured Artist: Amani Omar

In Season 2 To Be by Amani Omar September 6, 2021

Amani Omar is a 19 year old artist, writer, and spoken word poet based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Her work is rooted in black and Muslim representation, social issues, self love and Somali culture. Her goal is to create and inspire young creatives to explore their voices and bring about more diversity in the media through her artistic content. The …

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Tell Every Woman’s Story:
The Plight and Power of Female Journalists in Cameroon

In Editor's Pick Power by Sherlyn Assam August 28, 2021

Boycotts, protests, towns burned to the ground. Hundreds of deaths, and hundreds of thousands displaced. Separatists, militia, and journalists impinged by an authoritarian presidency. The struggle for power in Cameroon is one of majority and minority, French-speaking and English. President Biya’s 38th year in office is marked by another year of infighting prompted by the marginalization of the English-speaking population …

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Featured Artist – Jaylah Hall

In Return by TRAD August 18, 2021

Jaylah is a multifaceted artist who engages the world through poetry, design, and performance. A teen boss, and co CEO of Honey Cosmetics, she visualizes and represents possibility through her work. Her signature style features characters with sharp edges, bold looks and swagger to boot. “I’m sooo blessed to be a part of the design team at @trad_magazine . We …

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In Return by Odogwu Ibezimako August 18, 2021

When Uncle Sunny asked Ogbonna to come home for Easter, it was not a request, and there was no talk about human sacrifice. Now he is kneeling here, in the middle of a forest, beside his family house, with a sharp cutlass piercing through his chest, a gallon of blood gushing through his veins, and he cannot help but know, this is exactly where he is supposed to be.

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The Only Way Out is Through

In Return by Rhonda Nebiyou August 1, 2021

“Memory sifts. Memory lifts. Memory makes due with what it is given. Memory is not about facts. Memory is an inconsistent measurement of the pain in one’s life.” – Brandon Taylor ————————————————————————— One of the most painful things that no one talks about growing up is coming to face the humanity and mortality of your parents. As a first-generation Canadian …

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A Chosen Path

In Return by Martee-Lue Princess Fully August 1, 2021

It might be too personal to ask a friend if they had a decent childhood, but I am often curious to hear about the childhood experience of my peers and how their society impacted their upbringing. Unfortunately, for some societies, including my country, upbringings and childhood are complicated subjects and exceedingly difficult to explain.

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12,636 km away

In Return by Tine Ndhlovu August 1, 2021

I often find myself speaking and envisioning a point in my life when I will return to Zimbabwe and settle. However, there seems to be a gap between my vision of returning to the motherland and my parents’ vision of returning. I do not want to dismiss my parents’ sacrifices to give me better opportunities in North America. Still, I believe all the knowledge I have acquired can be re-invested into Zimbabwe or the continent at large.

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Who did the Year of Return Forget ?

In Return by Ewurama Brew August 1, 2021

The Year of Return was a collaboration between the Ghanaian Tourism Authorities, the Panafest Foundation and the Adinkra group in the U.S. The mission was to “celebrate the victims of the Trans-Atlantic slave Trade who were scattered and displaced throughout the world in North America, South America, the Caribbean, Europe and Asia.” The Year of Return took place in Ghana, …

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My Privilege to Return was my Grandfather’s Ultimate Sacrifice

In Return by Leah Mpinga August 1, 2021

In 1993 my grandfather, Kasenda Mpinga, stood up at the National Assembly in the United Nations and quoted this parable “When our neighbour’s house is on fire, we must not ignore the flames, we must go and waft them out to avoid the flames coming to our own house.” A mere year later, he was killed in a plane crash …

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Returning When you Never Left

In Return by Sumaya Nur August 1, 2021

My relationship with my culture can be compared to a healthy body being infected with cancer cells. As with most illnesses, through help and support, this relationship has returned to its original state and continues to thrive.

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Power of the Powerless

In Power by Gazelle Mba July 6, 2021

Power is not always embodied or rather disembodied as ‘the man’, an institution or the government. It feels slippery, you know it exists but you can’t hold it in your hands. It is impossible to define, so much so that approaching an essay on the topic feels daunting. What could I possibly contribute to the conversation around such an unwieldy …

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Inheritance of War

In Justice by Wahi Omer May 2, 2021

To be Eritrean is to have a direct link with war and its psychological undoings. Intergenerational trauma caused by war and displacement has become etched into the very meaning of our national identity.

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Sikhism’s Teachings on Justice have Taught Me about Myself.

In Justice by Upneet Masaun May 1, 2021

This idea of justice has always been central to Sikhism, the principle of being fair and righteous. Sikhism’s teachings and philosophy preach equality, unity, and truthful living, ultimately implementing moral equity among all individuals of society, regardless of their race or social class.

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Last Call

In Justice by Brianna Fable May 1, 2021

It’s been awhile right? You don’t come down here anymore since y’all moved,” he says leaning back into his chair.

All the maple hasn’t washed the jollof from his voice. You would think his accent would have vanished by now, but the colder Canada got, the warmer he seemed to be.

“Yeah, I didn’t really see a reason to,” I say honestly.

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I forgive my Father for the injustice he has caused me

In Justice by Kayla Willis-Simmonds May 1, 2021

People do not realize that these ancestral wounds run deeper than we think. It becomes our responsibility to then find justice for and within ourselves. What is often overlooked when it comes to social activism, is that it first begins with fighting for yourself.

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Remembering Where our Justice Comes From

In Justice by Elizabeth Oyegunle May 1, 2021

Somewhere along our journey as children of the diaspora, we lost the importance of looking back. I have come to understand this concept of looking back as an expedition into our lived experiences. It is a journey that strives to discover knowledge that is often lost, stolen, or hidden

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What you learn from suing your teachers

In Justice by Diego Lopes May 1, 2021

The education sector is meant to teach us to be just, but it is one of the greatest reproducers of injustice in society. Have we really gotten to a place where for BIPOC students to be treated fairly they have to sue their teachers ?

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A Legacy of Self Advocacy:
How Black People Continue to Show up for Themselves

In Justice by Tani Odukale May 1, 2021

For many centuries, Black people have shouldered the responsibility of self-advocacy to get the justice and equality we deserve. From individual efforts to community-based programs, advocacy has taken many forms—and with technological advancements, we continue to see advocacy evolve to this day. Black advocacy in the past Black self-advocacy can be seen as far back as the Black Panther Party …

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The People Vs. Sunday

In Justice by Ike Ezekwu May 1, 2021

The ostractization is the worst form of punishment that a village can impose on its own. Constable Sunday became widely known as Sunday Onyeoshi, and with this stigma and the attendant humiliation, he left the village, and spent the rest of his career in ignominy.

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Otjize: Earth’s Beauty

In Beauty by Tine Ndhlovu April 11, 2021

Africa and its African queens are so unique and beautiful in all of their melanin. It is a land filled with beautiful people and beautiful resources. One who is in tune with nature is in tune with the practice of living, embracing Earth’s beauty. Our bodies are our most sacred spaces, and the vessel for our spirit. Using the body …

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On Beauty:
Investing and Divesting

In Beauty by Dinan Alasad April 11, 2021

I distinctly remember the first comments ever made about my appearance. I must have been two-years-old when a relative asked my fair-skinned mother why it was that I was so much darker than both her and my siblings. Soon after, comments about my sparse, patchy hair and its relatively rougher texture began. As I grew older, many people would ask …

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I Wanted to Ask Him, What That Hair Do?

In Beauty by Yannick Mutombo April 11, 2021

Show me your favourite childhood picture from the early 2000s, and I will show you an era trafficking almost exclusively in clumsiness, where everything is either oversized or ill-fitting, sometimes both. Like say, the trendy jean shorts and the fast-food combos, the haircuts given to unsuspecting Black boys – no ifs, ands, or buts. Back then we weren’t quite what …

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Happy Feet

In Beauty by Shaza Elnour April 11, 2021

Artist Statement  Shaza Tariq Elnour’s Happy Feet is a short retrospective that looks at her work capturing celebrations and events during her role as Marketing Director for the University of Waterloo’s Black Association. The aim of this series is to highlight how community events enabled the positive and joyous communion of Black, African, Afro-Caribbean, and Caribbean communities in Waterloo-Kitchener. The …

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Wrapped in the Fabrics of Home:
A Photo Essay exploring the Evolution of the Sudanese Traditional Toub

In Beauty by Iman Abbaro April 11, 2021

I often think of the elder Sudanese women around me when I think of their resilience to stand in beauty. I think of my mother, my haboba (grandmother), and of my aunts. I think of the way they have gracefully embraced tradition throughout generations—specifically the tradition of the Sudanese toub from its vibrant colours to the way it elegantly flows …

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Brown Skin Girl

In Beauty by Adaure Ibe April 11, 2021

You can find bleaching products in Nigeria in just about any beauty store. In 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) cited that approximately 77 per cent of women in Nigeria bleach their skin. I was one of them. This is how I got there and, eventually, how I quit for good. Skin bleaching entails using creams, oral supplements, or injections …

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Blackness is not my only form of identity

In Beauty by Chiderah Sunny April 11, 2021

Black women should abandon racial activism, to attain their dreams – it is not my job to go into this space, it is not my job to revolutionize this space, it is my job to enjoy it.   I am sitting on my couch in my flat in Berlin retelling the events of my day to my wife Deidre while our …

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Jewelry: Uncovering of my Identity

In Beauty by Halima Aliyu April 11, 2021

For the longest time, I would stare at my bare pierced ear lobe in the mirror after stacking necklaces around my neck. I was nonchalant about wearing earrings as I couldn’t find any reason to wear them; I had not felt any sentimental value or sense of connection towards any earrings.. Our outer appearance – the clothing and the adornments …

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A letter of gratitude

In Beauty by Celine Isimbi April 11, 2021

To the Rudasumbwa—Dusabimana Matriarch: Thank you for teaching me—in subtlety—to embrace the beauty of the little moments.  I remember Saturday mornings with you, as we got ready for church. The weekends that we the cousins would spend with our grandmother. You’d wake us up early to bathe (bucket and water style), have breakfast, and then the dreaded hair combing fiasco …

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Wedding Traditions and Customs

In Beauty by Chidera Ukairo April 11, 2021

The moment a woman becomes aware of herself and begins understanding the world, she goes to war to gain freedom and autonomy over the vessel she walks the earth in. From the images we see on television and in magazines to our society’s cultural practices and beliefs, women are consistently told what they should define as beauty. In some African …

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Reclaiming Black Hair

In Beauty by Sydney Hussett April 11, 2021

Ages 0-10: “Nappy” Phase All of the Disney princesses that I obsessed over had long, flowing and silky hair. My hair was always in braids, little pony tails, Bantu knots, puffs, or whatever elaborate hairstyle my mom decided to style that week. Every two weeks was “wash day:” a full-day event that consisted of shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioner, and squirming …

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