I called the Wendy Michener lecture I gave at York University “Life is not worth living if there is no-one you would die for”. It’s not the snappiest title but it means well. The lecture ends after ninety minutes in a standing ovation. I’m elated. I’m on the other side of the world turning the world on it’s head.
The previous night I attended a meal in Toronto’s Bohemian district with associate Dean at the faculty of arts Michael Longford and Professor Barbara Crow the Associate Dean of Research in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studiesr Barbra Crow with a lively unpretentious group of curato
rs physicists and artists. It was a joyful evening where I was lucky enough to receive the book Undesirables White Canada and the Komagata Maru by hand of award winning film maker and author Ali Kazimi.
The following day, the day after the lecture, I gave a workshop in the deprived area housed next toYork University. It’ crucial absolutely crucial. We can make a difference in peoples lives. We can shed light where there’s darkness. Art in the community is not some pandering notion to a liberal idea. It is the hard practise of being where it matters for those who matter when it matters.
When I get back to England I receive a book Trade and Empire: for which I wrote the afterword. The story of Empire is as relevant to us the Black British as it is to the Indian Canadian. Our stories are the story of what make these countries the great places they aspire to be.