Can anything be done about the inequality in the world or are we doomed as a species to continue to oppress the weak, the poor, the less fortunate? If you look at the general development of the last couple centuries, you might become really frightened. […]
Is our constant need for progress enslaving us? -> The issue here is an issue of self-knowledge. How can you live well if you don’t know yourself? The comprehension of a successful life in our modern western societies is mostly driven by external factors that […]
Brandon Wint, a two-time national champion of poetry slam and one of Canada’s most beloved and well-respected spoken word artists, released his first full length album, The Long Walk Home, on April 22nd, 2016. The album, a unique one within the landscape of Canadian spoken word, is a deeply articulate, passionate exploration of one poet’s relationship to love, belonging, mortality and ancestry. The Long Walk Home was written and recorded in Ottawa, Ontario, and features contributions from such noteworthy artists as Alex Millaire (Moonfruits) and Don Charette (formerly of Big Balade). The album is a stirring, direct and thoughtful follow-up to Brandon Wint’s 2014 EP, Devotion, and takes the poet’s characteristically soft-spoken, big-hearted approach to spoken word, and marries it to classical compositions led by piano, cello, violin and viola. Stand-out tracks like “Home” display Brandon’s unique ability to reflect upon the natural world and bring it to life in visceral, striking and sensuous imagery. On the whole, The Long Walk Home manages to be nuanced, subtle, and luscious at once, providing its listeners with the sort of experience that can bring about relaxation, introspection, and at the very best of times, even healing.
The Long Walk Home is available exclusively via digital platforms. To buy the album, or to hear preview tracks, visit:
We saw Illustrated for the first time at a Poetry Slam in Edmonton. There was something very unique about his style and content. His words elicited a realism and intensity that we had not seen before. We hoped to get the chance to speak to […]
Shakeyra Pinnock is a visual artist from the island of Jamaica and is passionately pursuing a career as a visual artist. She now lives in the city of Edmonton, Canada and has been commissioned to perform artistically in a number of different events. What got […]
War, forced my grandfathers’ out of Palestine to Jordan in 1948. Shortly after, they migrated to Kuwait, where both my parents were born and raised. In 1990, the war in Kuwait forced my parents and toddler of a brother out of Kuwait to Jordan again, where I was born in 1991. In 1994, my parents left Jordan and moved to the United Arab Emirates. Somewhere lost in this narrative, is the story of my pregnant mother’s journey from Kuwait to Jordan, where she was stranded at the borders of Syria; and not easily granted access into Jordan due to the fact that she was not a carrier of the Jordanian passport like my father was. This, among many reasons, became strong enough reason for me to hate Jordan. Is it okay to hate the country of your birth? The place where you began your journey as a human being on this earth. I did, and still do, shamelessly. It will always be that place I was unwelcome in when I was in my passport-less mother’s womb. A place where politics matters more than morals or ethics, a place that never meant home.
Home, in the mind of a child is always relative to their mother. This is why we call our homelands, our motherlands. To me, the two constructs, home and motherhood are congruent, but at the age of 24, my construct of a motherland is still an abstract one. When asked about where I am from, I identify as Palestinian-Canadian. A hybrid identity, with each part faintly retracting. In Canada, I will always be an immigrant, and in Palestine, I will always be that girl who does not know the true meaning of being Palestinian. A girl who never heard the sounds of bombshells outside of her television screen, a girl who never truly felt the meaning of the word struggle. But to believe that is to say that my story is an inadequate representation of my identity. To believe that is to believe that all Palestinians are made to struggle in life. It is to say that if you have not lived through war, that you do not qualify to be Palestinian, but to me, being Palestinian is much more than living through war.
War, means much more than struggle. I know that I have not lived through war. My struggle has not been one of living through bombs, loss, poverty, or misfortune, but rather in accepting the fortune of some over others; a reconciliation between why, and why not. The struggle of accepting that change, like all good things, takes time. Understanding that the unfortunate outnumber the number of years we are given to bring about change. Accepting that I must live in the presence of injustice, but not live in the comfort of injustice. The struggle of a constantly guilty conscious; we are all Palestinian, why do they live in war, while I live in peace? Why are they dying in the place that I call home.
Home became something I decided not to think of anymore. When I moved to Canada in 2008, I learned that telling a story that never happened, is not always called lying. It depended on whose story you were telling. I realized that when this world’s criteria for determining the validity of a truth, is based on a lie, then giving up your story, becomes the only way to survive. So I gave it up in my heart and prayed for peace. The difficulty in finding peace was accepting that grievance is not the only way to get over your loss. In 2012, I learned about a mental pressure point that I never knew I had. I learned that sometimes, crying required more cardiac than facial muscles. And that screaming cannot always be heard over the laughter of men who know that they have completely defeated you; a test of true patience. I learned that I needed to wait a minimum of seven hours stranded at a border, without getting frustrated, to be granted access into my motherland. I learned that humiliation may be some people’s hobby and that not everybody loves a good heart. I did not see my motherland that day, three years later, I have not seen her yet either. So I wrote, I wrote in years, not words, and my journey became defined by my art instead of my struggle. I loved telling the world about people they had never heard of. Telling the world about my own abstract construct of war.
War never just meant one thing. My first journey with Art begun at the age of 16, I learned of a battle between what was on my head, and in my head. My hijab. I learned that wearing it was a journey, not a decision, or a final destination. I thought that I had touched every fabric as I wrapped it around my head every day, that I knew it like it was my very own, but ten years later I am still learning. My journey of art started on a small stage where I stood with my eyes pinned to the ground and read my poem off my page, and that was the best thing I had ever done. From that day, I began to share everything my mind found troublesome about this world, and that was when I started finding peace between war and home.
Home, became a space where there was a mic. And my journey was very much like these paragraphs, marked by searching for beginnings of home and ends of war. Instead, I learned that beginnings of war only ended home. And I still struggle, my mind still needs convincing that war and home are NOT just two different words for the same place. And even though it seems like home is my end, there is no end to the space that I learned to call home.
Sara Al Souqi
Let’s be honest here – I am not the girl men fall in love with. I am the girl that men want to fuck. I am a conquest. A prize. A show. I could count on five hundred fingers the number of people that have […]
Clivenne is an extraordinary young girl with so much love for a world she barely comprehends. Born deaf, she faced so many obstacles in an unequipped society that has dutifully set her back in her education. Despite this, she has grown to be the definition […]
The Heart and Mind had the privilege of doing an interview with the artist Jessica Reigns.
First question is: What got you into art and how long have you been doing it for?
Jessica Reigns: I feel like as a young child I have always enjoyed doing art related things. I recall drawing several pieces on the kitchen floor only to give them to my classmates the next day at school. I’ve been doing it as long as I can remember.
My imagination is quite vast in the sense that, as a young child, I thought it was a “normal” thing to imagine people as cartoon characters or animals. I know it sounds weird but some people just naturally look like cartoons and animals sometimes haha!
Haha I know what you mean, I see that too, if only I could draw. Do you feel there is a vibrant art community in your home town where you can be recognized for your passion?
Jessica Reigns: I can’t say I felt as though the community in which I grew up in was very vibrant in any sense of the word or creative and artistic. I am unsure if my art will be recognized but I hope it will be. I feel my art is more geared towards the hip hop community or perhaps in Japan.
It seems talent is not often recognized in their own town. What is your main message with your art? To me, it brings a sense of adventure and craziness.
Jessica Reigns: That’s awesome! Adventure and Craziness! My art is all about Joy and seeing things that make you feel happy. I think it brings excitement maybe.
It definitely does. What drives you to make art and what would stop you from continuing?
Jessica Reigns: Aw, thank you! Art is just a manifestation of inspiration. Although, I’m not always sure of exactly where my inspiration comes from, I do know that when it hits me, I have this compulsion to create continuously until the project is finished.
I believe creating art is my life purpose, so I feel that the only thing that would ever stop me, was if I was no longer living.
That’s great, and I hope to continue to see more of your awesome work. What are your goals with your work? and who do you hope to reach?
Jessica Reigns: I’m not exactly sure where my art will take me, I just hope one day I will be able to travel and do art at the same time. I wouldn’t mind getting into the apparel business, but we will see what will happen in the future.
That sounds fun, it would indeed be good to do that for me too. I can see you doing that, you certainly have the style. Where can we find more of your artwork?
Which is one of your favourite art pieces you’ve created and can you tell us a little bit about it?
Jessica Reigns: I know this is a recent piece of mine it is now my new personal favorite. It is a custom painting of my friend’s cat with four different looks. I love animals! I can literally paint them all day. It’s difficult for me to describe how I get my inspiration sometimes, but I think a lot of it comes from my ability to see life as a cartoon. It’s being able to just find the wonder and the silliness that is apparent in all the pictures that are given to me. If I’m able to find a way to make the owners really happy with the humour of the painting, then I think I’ve done my job.
Thank you Jessica! We are excited to see where your art takes you and wish you the best in the pursuit of your dreams. —-The Heart and Mind