Is it too late to say sorry for Komagata Maru?
News: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologizes for racism
Though many know the outline of an ugly chapter in Canadian history, the truth of the Komagata Maru is both an indictment of institutional prejudice, and a testament to the strength and pride of the passengers aboard the infamous vessel
By Rod Mickleburgh
At long last, a formal apology is being delivered in the House of Commons for Canada’s racist behaviour in its shameful treatment of Sikh passengers aboard the Komagata Maru who had the effrontery to seek immigration to the West Coast more than a hundred years ago. Not only were they denied entry, they were subjected to two months of exceptionally inhumane treatment by unflinching immigration officers. While many now know the basics of the ill-fated voyage, the story has many elements that are less well known. To fill in the gaps, we can look to Hugh Johnston and his definitive book, The Voyage of the Komagata Maru. Just days before the outbreak of World War ...
David Bezmozgis dives into Russian diaspora
Interview: David Bezmozgis on Natasha
The Toronto-based writer-director grew up in a community of Russian Jews who left the Soviet Union, but decades later he says the "Russian immigrant experience" has become more difficult to define -- yet far more interesting to explore through drama
By Katherine Monk
The “immigrant experience” is a phrase that’s been getting a lot of media mileage in the wake of Syria’s collapse and continuing mass displacement due to climate change, but as a phrase, it’s generic. It assumes all immigrants share a similar reality: a sense of exile and limited expression until assimilation takes hold. Toronto author and filmmaker David Bezmozgis thinks the North American “immigrant community” deserves better than a broad label between quotation marks, so he wrote a short story called Natasha, originally published in Harper’s before appearing in a bound collection in 2004. A Lolita-like yarn about a sexy young Russian girl who moves ...