september, 2021

26sep10:00 am11:00 amFeaturedDiaspora Dialogues: In Conversation with Shayda Kafai & Amanda LeducAmanda Leduc, Shayda Kafai, Moderator: Dev Ramsawakh10:00 am - 11:00 am(GMT-04:00) View in my time

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Speakers for this event

  • Amanda Leduc

    Amanda Leduc


    Amanda Leduc is the author of the novel THE CENTAUR'S WIFE (Random House Canada, 2021) and the non-fiction book DISFIGURED: ON FAIRY TALES, DISABILITY, AND MAKING SPACE (Coach House Books, 2020), which was shortlisted for both the 2020 Governor General’s Award in Nonfiction and the 2020 Barbellion Prize. She is also the author of an earlier novel, THE MIRACLES OF ORDINARY MEN (ECW Press, 2013). She has cerebral palsy and lives in Hamilton, Ontario, where she serves as the Communications Coordinator for the Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD), Canada's first festival for diverse authors and stories.


  • Dev Ramsawakh

    Dev Ramsawakh


    Dev (fka Mari) Ramsawakh is a disabled and non-binary multidisciplinary storyteller. They produced the podcasts Cripresentation and Sick Sad World, and edit the podcasts Leaders of Colour and Possibilities Podcast. They are also a writer, filmmaker, poet, and facilitator. They were the 2019 TVO Short Docs Contest winner and their short films have been screened at Toronto Queer Film Festival, ReelAbilities Film Festival, and North Bay Film Festival. Their work has been published on CBC, HuffPost Canada, Nuance, them, Xtra, and other publications. They also have been included in the Disability Visibility anthology edited by Alice Wong and the Rhubarb Festival 2021 publication, and their fiction has been published in Two Times Removed: An Anthology of Indo-Caribbean Fiction, Toronto 2033, and Hart House Review. They also facilitate workshops independently and with a collective called CRIP about topics such as ableism, disability justice, media, storytelling, content creation and more. You can find them on Twitter and TikTok @merkyywaters and on Instagram @merkyy_waters.


  • Shayda Kafai

    Shayda Kafai


    Shayda Kafai (she/her) is an Assistant Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies in the Ethnic and Women’s Studies department at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. As a queer, disabled, Mad femme of colour, she commits to practising the many ways we can reclaim our bodyminds from systems of oppression. To support this work as an educator-scholar, Shayda applies disability justice and collective care practices in the spaces she cultivates. Shayda’s writing and speaking presentations focus on intersectional body politics, particularly on how bodies are constructed and how they hold the capacity for rebellion. From discussions of madness and disability to femme politics and crip art, Shayda works to reframe our most disempowered bodyminds as vehicles of change-making. In honour of self-care and her communities, Shayda is also an art maker and co-founder of CripFemmeCrafts with her wife, Amy. They make art that empowers all our bodyminds, particularly centering the magic and joy-making that comes from the wisdom and beauty of disabled, Fat bodyminds of colour.


Event Details

Join us for a fascinating conversation with Shayda Kafai and Amanda Leduc as they explore disability justice and activism through their works Crip Kinship and The Centaur’s Wife. Kafai explores the art activism of Sins Invalid, a San Francisco Bay Area-based performance project, and its radical imaginings of what disabled, queer, trans, and gender-nonconforming bodyminds of colour can do. Leduc’s new novel is woven with fairy tales of her own devising and replete with both catastrophe and magic, is a vision of what happens when we ignore the natural world and the darker parts of our own natures.

Moderated by Dev Ramsawakh. Presented by Diaspora Dialogues.

Books featured:

Crip Kinship
Arsenal Pulp Press

Crip Kinship explores the art activism of Sins Invalid, a San Francisco Bay Area-based performance project, and its radical imaginings of what disabled, queer, trans, and gender-nonconforming bodyminds of colour can do: how they can rewrite oppression, and how they can gift us with transformational lessons for our collective survival.Grounded in the disability justice framework, Crip Kinship investigates the revolutionary survival teachings that disabled, queer of colour community offers to all our bodyminds. From their focus on crip beauty and sexuality to manifesting digital kinship networks and crip-centric liberated zones, Sins Invalid empowers and moves us toward generating our collective liberation from our bodyminds outward.

The Centaur’s Wife
Knopf Random Vintage Canada

Heather is sleeping peacefully after the birth of her twin daughters when the sound of the world ending jolts her awake. Stumbling outside with her babies and her new husband, Brendan, she finds that their city has been destroyed by falling meteors and that her little family are among only a few who survived.

But the mountain that looms over the city is still green–somehow it has been spared the destruction that has brought humanity to the brink of extinction. Heather is one of the few who know the mountain, a place city-dwellers have always been forbidden to go. Her dad took her up the mountain when she was a child on a misguided quest to heal her legs, damaged at birth. The tragedy that resulted has shaped her life, bringing her both great sorrow and an undying connection to the deep magic of the mountain, made real by the beings she and her dad encountered that day: Estajfan, a centaur born of sorrow and of an ancient, impossible love, and his two siblings, marooned between the magical and the human world. Even as those in the city around her–led by Tasha, a charismatic doctor who fled to the city from the coast with her wife and other refugees–struggle to keep everyone alive, Heather constantly looks to the mountain, drawn by love, by fear, by the desire for rescue. She is torn in two by her awareness of what unleashed the meteor shower and what is coming for the few survivors, once the green and living earth makes a final reckoning of the usefulness of human life and finds it wanting.


Presented by Diaspora Dialogues

Diaspora Dialogues (DD) supports emerging voices from across Canada to turn their craft into a career through mentorship, professional development and opportunities to publish and present their work. Everything we do as an organization is made possible through the passion and commitment of our team, the board members, and our allies across the country.