The University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) is pleased to host a full day of events exploring the practices of, and connections among, exceptional internationally known artists and cultural workers in the South Asian Diaspora, presented by The Jackman Humanities Institute Fund, WIAprojects and Cultural Pluralism and the Arts, at the Leigha Lee Browne Theatre, UTSC, 1265 Military Trail, Toronto on Thursday November 3rd 2011, 10 a.m. – 4p.m. Admission is free & all are welcome.
10 am – 12 noon
South Asians in the Arts: Diaspora, Alliances and Collaborations across Communities
Four award winning South Asian artists, writers, performers, educators, administrators and practitioners will provide an insider’s view on the connections between community, arts practice and administration, and alliances with Aboriginal and other racialized artists and communities in Toronto and beyond.
Lata Pada, the artistic director of SAMPRADAYA Dance Creations has created one of Canada’s leading and progressive dance organizations. She has initiated unique arts learning, community outreach, cultural leadership and mentorship projects for performing artists. She has trained a generation of dancers who perform professionally on international stages. Lata is an articulate speaker and workshop leader – through her art, she has served youth, new immigrants and marginalized communities. Lata is the recipient of Pravasi Bharatiya Samman by the President of India, the highest civilian honor for non-resident Indians. In addition she was honoured with the Order of Canada in January 2009 and holds the distinction of being the first South Asian artist to receive this award.
Seema Jethalal, the managing director at Regent Park Arts & Cultural Centre has been dedicated to the arts since birth and is committed to cultivating Toronto’s arts and culture scene and inspiring social change in the process. Seema plays a vital role in Arts organizations and is a member of the Civic Action’s Emerging Leaders Network, Artreach Toronto’s Community Advisory Committee and the Neighbourhood Arts Network Advisory Committee. Seema recently transitioned out of her role as Managing Director of Manifesto Community Projects – a non-profit arts organization that was recently presented with the Toronto Arts Foundation’s “Arts for Youth” award and the Toronto Community Foundation’s “Vital Ideas” award.
Noora Sagarwala has been working in the performing, literary and urban arts for the last 12 years and has been involved in the planning and execution of 14 performing arts festivals. Noora has held positions at the Great Canadian Theatre Company, the National Arts Centre, the Canada Dance Festival, the CDF’s urban arts festival (HIP HOP 360) and the Young Centre for the Performing Arts. Noora joined Manifesto Community Projects in June 2011 as its Managing Director, and currently sits on the Board of Directors of the CanAsian International Dance Festival and the National Committee of the Emerging Arts Professional Network.
Nisha Ahuja, an actor and theatre artist writer, and youth workshop designer/facilitator, graduated from York University with a Specialized Honours in Theatre (Creative Ensemble) with a minor in International Development. She has performed and created a range of classical, contemporary, and original work in Canada, the Netherlands, and India. Nisha was an actor with the Resident Acting Company of the National Art Centre for 2009-2010 season. Nisha wrote Cycle of a Sari and developed her one-woman show Yoga Cannibal. As an arts educator, Nisha has had the privilege of working with a diverse range of youth in Canada and India with renowned theatre companies, urban and rural schools, as well as NGOs and grassroots community organizations.
2– 4 pm
In Conversation: Mesma Belsare and Sylvat Aziz Border Crossings: An Erotic Affair?
Two artists, Mesma Belsare and Sylvat Aziz, interweave gender, sexuality, culture and artistic practice in complex ways as they confront dislocation and a longing for relocation.
Mesma S. Belsare is a dancer, choreographer, actor, visual artist and educator based in Boston. Mesma’s work explores concepts of gender, gender-identity and sexuality and the classical tradition of Nayaki Bhava (the voice of the female protagonist) in traditional Bharatanatyam (South Asian Classical dance).
Visual artist, Sylvat Aziz, teaches at Queens University, Department of Art in Kingston, Ontario. She has exhibited her sculpture and painting in Venice (Italy), Bradford (UK), New Delhi (India), and Lahore (Pakistan), and in many major public and university galleries in Canada. Her research focuses on problems of representation and the politics of space in early Islamic art and architecture and the influences, conflicts and compromises addressed therein.
Location: Leigha Lee Browne Theatre, University of Toronto Scarborough, 1265 Military Trail (Morningside and 401) Date: Thursday November 3rd 2011 Admission is free. All are welcome