Telling our stories

Similar to the Fall of 2015, the course began by thinking about the ways students' personal stories related to the concepts framing the course: place, belonging, and im/migration.  We listened to Emily Bailin's TED talk The Power of Digital Storytelliing.  In her talk, Bailin discusses the fact that when someone asks us "Where are you from?" we often name a place, yet we are so much more than places. Students worked on their own "Where are you from" assignments focusing on both place and the social processes that produce it.  

In "Effects of Migration" Tileira Abraham discusses her family's link to Sri Lanka, Portugal, the U.S. and Canada.  She also reflects on her relationship to Scarborough, stating, "I have lived in Scarborough for seven and a half years now.  I attended some elementary school and high school and now university.  For the last 7 years, everything I was involved in, took place in Scarborough.  I go to school, work, and volunteer all in this one city" 


In "Jamaica to Canada Backstory" Shaina Madden discusses the history of Jamaican migration to Canada, in which her family is intimately involved.  Like Tileira, she also reflects on her relationship to Scarborough and Canada stating, "I am not just from Canada, Canada is from me." 

Preyanga Kadambamoorthy writes in "New Beginnings: My Family's Journey to the 'North'" about the Sri Lankan civil war and the Tamil diaspora as well as her own future migration goals, demonstrating Scarborough residents as both deeply embedded to their communities as well as highly mobile.  

Rehan Abdul Kader writes about his migration experience in "Where I'm From"  being in born in Bangladesh and living in Kuwait, demonstrating the multiple migrations that many Scarborough students have experienced.  

Meanwhile, Nasma Ahmed reflects on her relationship to Canada and responsibility to think through migrant and settler relations to Indigenous peoples.  

Sarah Dinnoo's "Trinidanian-Canadian Story" discusses the initial culture shock she experienced upon migrating to Canada, and the importance of finding a Trinidanian community in Scarborough for her integration.  She also notes how engaging in transnational practices, in her case, traveling to Trinidad, solidified her identity as both Trinidanian and Canadian.  

In "Jessie's Family Roots," Jessie Chung also reflects on the possibility of traveling to her parents' country of origin

Hiba Ibrahim discusses her parents' migration from Somalia, as well as her own internal migrations in Ontario, finally arriving in Scarborough when she was a teenager.  She also reflects on the sense of belonging she has experienced in Scarborough as a Black Muslim woman.  


Kevin Lyn's "My life" reflects on his paternal family's migration from China to Jamaica to Canada.  He also discusses his mother's  sending of remittances, a common practice for many immigrants. 

David (Zhe) Zhang's "The Path of My Life" outlines his family's migration from China to Los Angeles to Montreal, and finally to Scarborough.  

Danbinaeri Kim outlines her experience as an international student from Korea in "My Journey to Canada."  She migrated to Canada to finish her high school education and then enrolled at UTSC.  

Nicole Tam discusses her family's migration from China to Canada and her relationship to UTSC in "Where do I Belong...?"

In "You Know My Name But Not My Story" Abhiramy Krishnaparan discusses her family's migrations to Germany and Canada. 


Wing Ma's "Under the Wing" explains that migration involves searching "for a better future.  Under the wings of our parents."  Playing with her name, Wing outlines her family's movement from China to Hong Kong, and several movements to Canada.  She also discusses her family's engagement with transinationalism.  

Vethusha Vasanthakumar remarks on her family's forced migration, moving from Sri Lanka to Germany and how this movement led her father to open a German restaurant in Scarborough.  

Tegan Quenneville Thorpe's family did not have a history of migration, so she focused on their roots in Canada and her internal migrations.  


Image Credit: Morgan Ren