What is your relationship to the land?- Hybrid
What is your relationship to the land? is a hybrid course happening with Workman Arts and Scarborough Arts part of COMMUNITY+Connects Programming. Registration will be open until spots are filled.
Dates: Saturdays — October 15, 22, November 5, 19, 26, and December 3rd.
Time: 1:00 – 3:00pm EST
Online (Zoom): October 15, 22, November 5, 19, 26
In-Person (In Scarborough, TBC): December 3
Who is this course for: Open to all, but will prioritize BIPOC youth (ages 16-30) who are Residents of Scarborough. All indigenous people from Turtle Island welcome.
Instructor: Ari Para
Ari is a second generation Sri-Lankan-Canadian, Hindu, non-binary, queer artivist based in Scarborough, Ontario. They are an ESL teacher, theatre artist and a writer with a passion for reading, learning and unlearning.
Ari completed an undergraduate degree in Business Communications at Brock University in St. Catharines, while also completing minors in Women and Gender Studies and the Dramatic Arts. During their time in St. Catharines, Ari got involved with social justice organizations such as the Brock Student Justice Centre, OPIRG-Brock as well as The Brock Faith and Life Centre. Ari is currently completing a certificate in English Literature and Popular Culture at Toronto Metropolitan University and their Masters of Education part-time at York University. Ari has co-created a theatre show archiving their queer faith journey called That Power, a play focusing on queer interfaith dialogue that was highlighted in In The Soil Arts Festival 2020. They are currently working on adapting That Power as new life experiences impact their queer faith journey.
Ari currently works at the Department of Imaginary Affairs (DIA) as a Storytelling Caretaker. They started working with DIA as a social researcher where they engaged in conversations with BIPOC community members about their experiences in public parks amidst the pandemic, hosted a virtual NaNoWriMo parks and lands based writing program and facilitated a lands based zine creation and storytelling program called re:parks. They have recently been approved for an ArtReach grant to work on a storytelling and zine creation program for BIPOC youth called DREAMS in the Toronto area in the fall of 2022 with their colleagues as part of DIA’s programming.
Ari has recently published a collection of poems called Dear Body about overcoming challenges in their life without sacrificing who they are.
This is a parks and lands based creative writing course for new and seasoned writers that will allow you to further your creative writing practice through various writing prompts and writing exercises. This class will follow the NaNoWriMo writing model, where we will aim to finish writing a book in under a month! This course will be partly co-designed by the participants and the instructor in order to make it accessible and useful for all the participants. What you can expect in this course are 6 weekly sessions, each about 1.5-2 hours long, starting a week before November starts and ending the first week of December. We will aim to do this course in a hybrid manner if possible, but as a default, this course will be online through zoom for most sessions.
In this course we will practise writing poetry, life writing, letter writing and prose to build on your knowledge of various creative writing skills. At the end of the course, we will create a collective zine/book filled with all of our writings and share that with our communities. If folx feel comfortable, we will also do a spoken word / storytelling showcase event in a safe and comfortable location for all.