Every month I will be posting a re-cap of happenings in music, art, social communications, and human rights issues as they take place in Toronto or impact our global consciousness. If you or your project would like to be featured, send me an e-mail. Here is your November edition!
El Vy is the funky brainchild of The National's Matt Beringer and longtime friend Brent Knopf, former member of Portland indie rock band Menomena. Ticket holders to their November 17th show at the Opera House can look forward to upbeat, adventurous songs and a more playful Beringer on lead vocals than we have previously seen him in The National. Doubtful? Check out the band's take on “She Drives Me Crazy” by Fine Young Cannibals at their first live show in Portland last week:
Wired Magazine's November issue was seriously impressive. Guest-edited by Serena Williams, the issue combined its technological core with emotional sociological movements and curated a refreshing and unique take on how these movements such as Black Lives Matter can use different forms of technology to advance their goals and make their voices heard. Williams lists other examples in her rally-cry feature, including initiatives such as Kimberly Bryant's Black Girls Code as well as current progressions in hiring/scouting processes that actively promote diversity. My favourite piece from the issue is Bijan Stephen's analysis of the Black Lives Matter movement and how its use of technology closely resembles that of the civil rights movement from MLK's era. Check it out in full with poignant photos here.
The 2015 lookbook from Angolan fashion designer Rose Palhares makes me want to cry, then dance. The color palette is a flurry of luscious magentas, golds, and emerald greens. The patterns are magnificently balanced with garments that are both elegant and fun. Together with black lipstick, bold earrings, and Bantu knots, these pieces will surely be making more appearances as fashion lovers take note and embrace these vivid designs as the temperatures rise again next spring.
WHAT YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW
Toronto's annual Syria Film Festival took place over the weekend and presented some incredibly important short and full-length films about the experiences of Syrians fleeing violence, living in refugee camps, or remaining among the turmoil in their native Syria. Take a peek at one of the festival's featured films, a documentary by Carol Mansour and Forward Film Productions called “Not Who We Are.”
After the horror in Paris on Friday November 13th, Western societies received somewhat of a wake-up call. The violence in the middle east can no longer be ignored (and should never have been in the first place). For many, myself included, identifying the main players of the crisis is often very confusing, and Islamophobia at home continues to distract from understanding the real root problems that refugees are facing. This video from Vox explains the timeline of the Syrian war clearly and brings up some important points about why so many countries are participating:
Lastly, if you are interested in doing something tangible to relieve some of the suffering of refugees and migrants, consider donating to The Syrian Kids Foundation, a Canadian organization providing free education and social services such as counseling, healthcare, and recreation at their flagship Al Salam School in Turkey. The website also features a blog that lets current students and volunteers at the school tell their stories. Read up here and see what you can do to help these children and their families get back on their feet.
Header photo by Oakville photographer Patrick McAdams. For more of his stunning work, check out his instagram.