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...MASALA CANADA conversations 4

Selection of recent interviews from
"MASALA CANADA with Wojtek Gwiazda"

At the end of the page, there's an alphabetical list of interviewees on this page. For interviews from earlier shows please see:
Conversations 3, Conversations 2, Conversations 1.


If you have questions or comments please don't hesitate to reach us at masala@rcinet.ca



 

Wojtek Gwiazda in conversation with - SUKI GREWAL


I talk to Suki Grewal, the founder and president of Vancouver’s South Asian Family Association (SAFA). The Association is hosting its third Mothers and Daughters evening next Sunday, May 6th, 2012. It’s a fascinating approach to letting women and their daughters spend a night together, share life experiences and have access to all kinds of information about available services in the community. At the same time they share a dinner, are entertained, and have a few stress-less hours together.


This conversation is from the April 28, 2012 edition of "MASALA CANADA with Wojtek Gwiazda" http://www.rcinet.ca/english/program/masala-canada/home/date/28-04-2012/

South Asian Family Association – www.safa.ca


Wojtek Gwiazda in conversation with - DYLAN FERNANDO


I talk to Toronto’s Dylan Fernando, one of the directors of Sri Lankans Without Borders. The group has organized a reading series called the “Samadhana 2012 Benefit Reading Series”. On May 9th, they’ll hold the second of five presentations, featuring writers of Sri Lankan origin. It’s all part of an attempt to bring the community together.


This conversation is from the April 28, 2012 edition of "MASALA CANADA with Wojtek Gwiazda" http://www.rcinet.ca/english/program/masala-canada/home/date/28-04-2012/


Sri Lankans Without Borders reading series – www.slwb.ca


 

 

Wojtek Gwiazda in conversation with - E.V.



I talk to Vancouver singer, musician, DJ and music producer “E.V.”. He’s just released a version of the very popular song Kolaveri Di with Mr Singh. We talked after I received an e-mail from him on Thursday, saying he had just finished the remix and put it on line. I quickly sent off an e-mail expecting him to be in Toronto (that’s where he was last November when we talked about his upcoming album “Back Down”). He answered back right away, but told me he was in Mumbai, but despite the time difference, ready to talk. So as he rode in a rickshaw just before midnight Mumbai time he filled me on the details on the song, the indie music scene in India and Canada, and when the new album would be coming out.


This conversation is in the April 21, 2012 edition of "MASALA CANADA with Wojtek Gwiazda" www.rcinet.ca/masala

E.V. and A-Slam music and info – www.a-slam.com


Wojtek Gwiazda in conversation with - RAOUL JUNEJA



A good friend of the program, Toronto producer Raoul Juneja (a.k.a Deejay Ra) talks about a new project he’s working on, a national TV show in Canada called V-MIX on the OMNI television network. The program just started last October and focuses on the contemporary South Asian music scene in Canada.


This conversation is in the April 21, 2012 edition of "MASALA CANADA with Wojtek Gwiazda" www.rcinet.ca/masala

V-MIX at OMNI TV - www.omnitv.ca/ontario/tv/v-mix/
Raoul Juneja website – www.lyricalknockout.com






Wojtek Gwiazda in conversation with - ALFONS ADETUYI


I talk to Alfons Adetuyi, an award-winning film and television producer and director. His company Inner City Films and India’s famed Ramoji Film City have announced a deal to make three Bollywood films. We’ll find out how this happened, what the films will be about, and the challenges of being a filmmaker in Canada.
 

 


This conversation is from the April 14, 2012 edition of "MASALA CANADA with Wojtek Gwiazda" http://www.rcinet.ca/english/program/masala-canada/home/date/14-04-2012/

Alfons Adetuyi - Inner City Films website – www.innercityfilms.com




Wojtek Gwiazda in conversation with - BRYAN ADAMS


A reprise of my conversation with Canadian rock singing icon, Bryan Adams. Yes, I’m feeling nostalgic. This interview is from January, 2011 when he was about to tour in India and Nepal, and just after the release of his latest album, the acoustic “Bare Bones”. We talked about his attraction to India, about his evolution as a musician, a photographer, and a supporter of social causes. He’s on a pan-Canadian tour right now, his first in a very long time. He’ll also be doing a concert in Portugal on June 2nd in Lisbon.


This conversation is from the April 14, 2012 edition of "MASALA CANADA with Wojtek Gwiazda" http://www.rcinet.ca/english/program/masala-canada/home/date/14-04-2012/


Bryan Adams music and info – www.bryanadams.com



Wojtek Gwiazda in conversation with - KIRAN AHLUWALIA


I talk to singer composer Kiran Ahluwalia who a week ago won Canada’s highest music award the Juno, for Best World Music Album, for her record “Aam Zameen” (Common Ground).

We’ll talk about her musical exploration, what it was like to win a Juno for the second (!) time, and share some of her thoughts about the Canadian and Indian music scenes.
 

 


This conversation is from the April 7, 2012 edition of  "MASALA CANADA with Wojtek Gwiazda" www.rcinet.ca/masala

Kiran Ahluwalia music and info – www.kiranmusic.com



Wojtek Gwiazda in conversation with - HARI KRISHNAN


I talk with dancer and choreographer Hari Krishnan. His Toronto based contemporary dance company, inDANCE, will be presenting two very different takes on traditional Indian classical dance through the Navarasa which focuses on the nine archetypal emotions.

The pieces, “Quicksand” and “Nine” will be presented this Thursday to Saturday, April 12 to 14, 2012 in Toronto.


This conversation is from the April 7, 2012 edition of "MASALA CANADA with Wojtek Gwiazda" www.rcinet.ca/masala

inDANCE web site – www.indance.ca


 

 

Wojtek Gwiazda in conversation with - SHWETA SUBRAM



I talk to Toronto singer Shweta Subram about her collaboration with Boston/Mumbai based musician composer Shankar Tucker. They came out with a great music video “Mere Sajaan Sun Sun” a few days ago that’s already attracting a fair bit of attention. We talk about how the two came together and what they did with the song.
 

 


This conversation is from the March 17, 2012 edition of "MASALA CANADA with Wojtek Gwiazda" www.rcinet.ca/masala

"Mere Sajaan Sun Sun" music video - youtu.be/auRmXTmVwrY
Shankar Tucker music and info – www.shankartucker.com
Shweta Subram music and info – www.shweta.ca


Wojtek Gwiazda in conversation with - NAVEEN GIRN



I talk to Naveen Girn, a cultural researcher at Simon Fraser University, in Canada’s Pacific coast province of British Columbia. We talk about a new website project that will go on line this Friday, March 23. The focus is a painful incident in Canadian history. On May 23, 1914, a ship, the Komagata Maru, carrying 376 passengers, most of whom were Sikhs, was stopped at the port of Vancouver. The passengers were refused the right to disembark, and ultimately almost all were turned back after two months. We’ll talk about this incident, and why the interactive website was set up.


This conversation is from the March 17, 2012 edition of "MASALA CANADA with Wojtek Gwiazda" www.rcinet.ca/masala

Komagata Maru (SFU) website – www.komagatamarujourney.ca

 

 

Wojtek Gwiazda in conversation with - DIPNA HORRA



I talk to Ottawa artist Dipna Horra. This past Thursday, March 8, 2012, her latest exhibition opened at one of Canada’s oldest artist run centres Toronto’s “A Space Gallery”.

Her exhibition is part of what she calls her sculptural sound installations. This latest one is called “Dhunia: Septet” and features the voice of the artist’s grandmother, telling the story of the goddess Parvati in Punjabi, as well as other sounds of nature and civilisation. And the sounds we hear come from seven specially wired windows that act as speakers and let us hear the words of her grandmother and the other sounds.

 


This conversation is from the March 10, 2012 edition of "MASALA CANADA with Wojtek Gwiazda"  http://www.rcinet.ca/english/program/masala-canada/home/date/10-03-2012/

Dipna Horra website - www.dipnahorra.com


Wojtek Gwiazda in conversation with - EISHA MARJARA



I talk to Montreal filmmaker Eisha Marjara who over the years has released a number of fascinating films including “Desperately Searching Helen” and “The Tourist”. Her latest film “House for Sale” premiered last month in Montreal at the “Rendez-vous du cinema Quebecois” film festival, and will be featured this weekend on Sunday, March 11, at Montreal’s AmerAsia Film Festival.

“House for Sale” is a touching story about a transgender gay man, apparently looking to buy a home, and a fateful night when a promise was made. Marjara talks about writing the scenario, about lead actor Atif Siddiqi, her desire to humanize the other woman – the mistress, and the theme of the outsider in many of her films.


 

This conversation is from the March 10, 2012 edition of "MASALA CANADA with Wojtek Gwiazda" http://www.rcinet.ca/english/program/masala-canada/home/date/10-03-2012/

Eisha Marjara website – www.eishamarjara.com
House for Sale trailer, videos – www.vimeo.com/eishamarjara

 

 

Wojtek Gwiazda in conversation with - SHARMEEN OBAID-CHINOY



I talk to documentary filmmaker and journalist Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. She, along with co-director Daniel Junge, won an Oscar for Best Documentary Short at this year’s Academy Awards for the film “Saving Face”. Since this is Pakistan’s first Oscar, there was immediate reaction both in Pakistan and in the diaspora. And discussion about the topic of the documentary acid attacks on Pakistani women, and a British Pakistani plastic surgeon who is helping them. In Canada most people were celebrating the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor won by 82 year old Canadian acting legend Christopher Plummer.

What many people did not realize, until the Canadian media picked up on it, was that Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy has dual citizenship in Canada and Pakistan. Three days after her win, this past Wednesday, I spoke to her about the Oscar, about her reactions, and about this documentary on acid violence which she feels offers hope for the future.


This conversation is from the March 3, 2012 edition of "MASALA CANADA with Wojtek Gwiazda" http://www.rcinet.ca/english/program/masala-canada/home/date/03-03-2012/

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy films – www.sharmeenobaidfilms.com


Wojtek Gwiazda in conversation with - CHRIS TYLER



I talk to Professor Chris Tyler who teaches computer studies at Toronto’s Seneca Collage. He specializes in open source software – computer software that allows users to adapt it to their own needs, and share it with others. And we talk about the Raspberry Pi, a computer so tiny it fits on top of a credit card, and runs off the power of a cell phone charger, or a small solar cell.

It’s the brainchild of the Raspberry Pi Foundation at the University of Cambridge in the UK. This project was a response to the lack of students graduating with computer science and computer technology degrees. And Professor Tyler, along with students at Toronto’s Seneca College, worked with open source software for this new computer, aimed at giving students, in particular, a chance to understand how computers work.


This conversation is from the March 3, 2012 edition of "MASALA CANADA with Wojtek Gwiazda"  http://www.rcinet.ca/english/program/masala-canada/home/date/03-03-2012/

Raspberry Pi Foundation – www.raspberrypi.org
Chris Tyler blog – www.chris.tylers.info


 

 

Wojtek Gwiazda in conversation with - LALITA KRISHNA



I talk to Toronto documentary filmmaker Lalita Krishna about her latest film “MallaMall”. It focuses on two very different approaches to the retail industry in India: on the small entrepreneurs who make up 95 per cent of the industry, and the challenge coming from superstores and malls, which in some cases has pushed the small store owners into the streets to defend their livelihood.

She talks about filming in Delhi, and facing her own contradictions about what should and should not be the future of the retail industry in India.


This conversation is from the February 25, 2012 edition of "MASALA CANADA with Wojtek Gwiazda" http://www.rcinet.ca/english/program/masala-canada/home/date/25-02-2012/

MallaMall documentary – InSyncVideo – here



Wojtek Gwiazda in conversation with - DENA DAVIDA



I talk to Montreal dancer, scholar, and dance curator Dena Davida. She has also taught at the University of Quebec in Montreal, and is the co-artistic and co-executive director of Tagente – a space for contemporary dance, as well as documentation, which she co-founded in 1980.

We talk about a new book she’s edited called “Fields in Motion – Ethnography in the Worlds of Dance” which examines contemporary artistic dance around the world, its roots, and its impact on our conception of ourselves.


This conversation is from the February 25, 2012 edition of "MASALA CANADA with Wojtek Gwiazda" http://www.rcinet.ca/english/program/masala-canada/home/date/25-02-2012/

Tagente website – www.tangente.qc.ca
Fields in Motion book info – here

 

 

Wojtek Gwiazda in conversation with - VIJAYA CHIKERMANE



I talk to Vijaya Chikermane, the Executive Director of the Alliance for South Asian Aids Prevention (ASAAP). A little more than a week ago the Alliance raised concerns about two cases now before the Supreme Court of Canada. Cases that could further extend the definition of when it is a crime in Canada not to tell a partner about having the HIV virus.

Up until now, the law suggested that only in cases where there is a serious danger to their sexual partner was it a crime. She discusses the concerns of the Alliance, and the challenges of discussing these issues publicly.


This conversation is from the February 18, 2012 edition of "MASALA CANADA with Wojtek Gwiazda" http://www.rcinet.ca/english/program/masala-canada/home/date/18-02-2012/

Alliance for South Asian Aids Prevention (ASAAP) – www.asaap.ca



Wojtek Gwiazda in conversation with - ANN CAVOUKIAN



I talk to Ann Cavoukian, the Information and Privacy Commissioner for Canada’s most populous province, Ontario. She is an independent officer of the provincial legislature and reports directly to the legislature on issues of privacy.

She and a number of other people in Canada were vocal this past week in condemning a proposed federal law tabled this past week by Public Safety Minister Vic Toews. The law would give police access to so called IP addresses, the addresses of each Canadian’s computer, and access to that computer’s activities on the Internet. The law would oblige Internet service providers to store that information, and make it available to the police.


This conversation is from the February 18, 2012 edition of "MASALA CANADA with Wojtek Gwiazda" http://www.rcinet.ca/english/program/masala-canada/home/date/18-02-2012/


Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario – www.ipc.on.ca

Bill C-30 [Lawful Access Bill] – here
 

 

Wojtek Gwiazda in conversation with - VIKAS KOHLI


Toronto musician, composer, and producer Vikas Kohli talks about his latest project, creating a soundtrack for a new film, Samuel Kiehoon Lee’s “Wild Goose Daddy” with an orchestra of 28 musicians. An experienced composer and producer who’s produced numerous Canadian and international musicians at his Mississauga studio FatLabs, Kohli found himself in a very new situation with the challenge of composing music that would create the appropriate atmosphere for the film, and be played by all these musicians.


This conversation is from the February 11, 2012 edition of "MASALA CANADA with Wojtek Gwiazda"

Vikas Kohli FatLabs studio – www.fatlabs.com



Wojtek Gwiazda in conversation with - ROBERT FOX


We talk about a new report released by the international humanitarian aid organisation Oxfam called “Crises in a New World Order, Challenging the Humanitarian Project”. Robert Fox, Executive Director of Oxfam Canada, explains the focus of the report is making sure enough aid goes to local response groups, local civil society and local governments, whether it’s for disasters that have just occurred or in preparation for future disasters. Among the challenges, the importance of raising funding for disasters that have been averted thanks to local initiatives.


This conversation is from the February 11, 2012 edition of "MASALA CANADA with Wojtek Gwiazda"

Oxfam Canada – www.oxfam.ca
Crises in a New World Order report – here


 

Wojtek Gwiazda in conversation with - RAVIDA DIN



We talk about a new feature length documentary film from Canada’s world renowned public film producer and distributor, the National Film Board. The documentary is called “Pink Ribbons, Inc.” and the film’s director is Léa Pool. The film looks at how breast cancer has become the focus of huge and popular marketing campaigns that promote awareness of breast cancer, and at the same time promote the image and revenues of the corporations that support these campaigns. Just this past Friday the film got its theatrical release across Canada. To find out more, I talked to the National Film Board’s Ravida Din who is the Executive Producer and producer of “Pink Ribbons, Inc.”


This conversation is from the February 4, 2012 edition of "MASALA CANADA with Wojtek Gwiazda"

Pink Ribbons, Inc. website – here



Wojtek Gwiazda in conversation with - RAJENDHRAN RAJAKUMAR



I talk with Montreal researcher and doctoral student, Rajendhran Rajakumar. He’s part of a research team at Montreal’s McGill University, at the Abouheif Lab, headed by Dr Ehab Abouheif, the Canada Research Chair in Evolutionary Development Biology. Rajakumar, Professor Abouheif, and several other researchers last month published an article in Science Magazine in which they describe their explorations of evolution, and how they stimulated the million years old capacity of some ants to become huge, supersoldier ants. We talk about how they did it, and how this will help us understand evolution.


This conversation is from the February 4, 2012 edition of "MASALA CANADA with Wojtek Gwiazda"

Supersoldier ant research – here

 

 

Wojtek Gwiazda in conversation with - SUPINDER WRAICH

 

A conversation with Toronto actor Supinder Wraich who co-stars in a new interactive web series called “Guidestones”. The story is intriguing: it’s about a real monument in the American State of Georgia – called the Guidestones. And in eight languages, including Sanskrit and Hindi, it gives guidelines for rebuilding civilization after an apocalypse.

 

Supinder Wraich plays the role of a journalism exchange student from Delhi studying in Toronto, and the deepening mystery she gets involved with in investigating a murder, a global conspiracy and the Guidestones. The series opens on February 2nd on the web.

 

This conversation is from the January 28, 2012 edition of "MASALA CANADA with Wojtek Gwiazda" http://www.rcinet.ca/english/program/masala-canada/home/date/28-01-2012/

Guidestones website – www.guidestones.org

 

Wojtek Gwiazda in conversation with - ROGER AUGUSTINE

 

AFN Regional Chief Roger Augustine with his granddaughter.We’ll examine the state of relations between Canada and its indigenous peoples, and in particular the results of the Crown-First Nations Gathering in Ottawa, this past Monday and Tuesday. The meeting between Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper, along with some of his ministers, and the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Shawn A-in-chut Atleo, and First Nation chiefs from across the country, raised both expectations and cynicism within Canada’s indigenous communities.

 

We talk to Chief Roger Augustine, Regional Chief for the Atlantic coast provinces of New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island at the Assembly of First Nations, about the meeting, and about the expectations, mistrust, and hope among Canada’s indigenous people.

 

This conversation is from the January 28, 2012 edition of  "MASALA CANADA with Wojtek Gwiazda" http://www.rcinet.ca/english/program/masala-canada/home/date/28-01-2012/

 

Assembly of First Nations website – www.afn.ca

 

Wojtek Gwiazda in conversation with - RAVI JAIN

 

I talk to Toronto actor and theatre director Ravi Jain. As the Artistic Director of “Why Not Theatre” he has explored many different approaches to creating a stage experience. In his new play “Brimful of Asha”, he acts and is, the son of his co-star, his real life mother, Asha. The subject of the play is arranged marriages, and that it’s time for Ravi to get married. We also discuss the fact that even though his mother co-stars in the play, she is not an actor, and what that has taught Ravi Jain about acting. The play opens at Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre Thursday, January 26th, and closes February 18th .

This conversation is from the January 21, 2012 edition of "MASALA CANADA with Wojtek Gwiazda"  http://www.rcinet.ca/english/program/masala-canada/home/date/21-01-2012/

 

Why Not Theatre website – www.theatrewhynot.org

 

 

Wojtek Gwiazda in conversation with - JANAK KHENDRY

 

A wonderful exploration of the concept of time with Toronto dancer and choreographer Janak Khendry, the Founder and Artistic Director of the Janak Khendry Dance Company. This year the company celebrates its 33rd anniversary with a rather remarkable exploration. An exploration of time, of the concept of time, of what has happened, and what will happen – all this through the movements of 14 dancers. This dance exploration is called “Kaal” (Time) and will be presented January 26th to 28th, at the Fleck Dance Theatre at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre.

 

This conversation is from the January 21, 2012 edition of "MASALA CANADA with Wojtek Gwiazda" http://www.rcinet.ca/english/program/masala-canada/home/date/21-01-2012/

 

Janak Khendry Dance Company website – www.jkdanceco.org

 

Wojtek Gwiazda in conversation with - NAYAN STHANKIYA

 

I have a fascinating and wide ranging conversation with freelance photojournalist Nayan Sthankiya. For the past 11 years he’s been travelling the world, documenting natural disasters, wars, and the beauty of the world for such publications as the New York Times, The Guardian, Canada’s Maclean’s Magazine and Canadian Geographic. We’ll talk about how he approaches photography – whether it’s photographing Canadian writer Yann Martel, or taking photos after an earthquake in Pakistan. We'll also discuss the state of photojournalism, and the advantages and disadvantages of being based in our western Canadian city of Saskatoon, as opposed to key big cities like Toronto, Montreal, or Vancouver.

This conversation is from the January 14, 2012 edition of "MASALA CANADA with Wojtek Gwiazda" http://www.rcinet.ca/english/program/masala-canada/home/date/14-01-2012/

 

Nayan Sthankiya photos and info – www.nayansthankiya.com

 

 

Wojtek Gwiazda in conversation with - NOA MENDOLSOHN AVIV

 

A conversation about a Canadian government fugitive list put out by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). The list includes some of the people the agency wants to deport from Canada for allegedly being war criminals, or for a number of other alleged offences. We discuss the civil liberty issues that this list raises with Noa Mendelsohn Aviv, the Director of the Equality Program at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA).

This conversation is from the January 14, 2012 edition of "MASALA CANADA with Wojtek Gwiazda" http://www.rcinet.ca/english/program/masala-canada/home/date/14-01-2012/

 

Canadian Civil Liberties Association – www.ccla.org

 

Wojtek Gwiazda in conversation with - DENNIS GRUENDING

 

I talk about politics and religion in Canada with Ottawa-based author Dennis Gruending. He is a former journalist, a former Director of Information for the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. He’s been a Member of Parliament, and is the author of a number of books. His latest, released this past autumn, is titled “Pulpit and Politics: Competing Relgious Ideologies in Canadian Public Life”. We discuss the alliances and antagonism among religious groups, the issues that unite many religious activists, and the approach of Canada’s ruling Conservative government towards the different political tendencies among them.

 

This conversation is from the January 7, 2012 edition of "MASALA CANADA with Wojtek Gwiazda" http://www.rcinet.ca/english/program/masala-canada/home/date/07-01-2012/

 

Dennis Gruending blog – www.dennisgruending.ca

 

Wojtek Gwiazda in conversation with - GABRIEL DHARMOO

 

I talk to Montreal contemporary classical music composer Gabriel Dharmoo, who this Monday, January 9th, will be performing a solo Carnatic Cello Concert at the Arkay Convention Centre in Chennai. For the past three months he’s been studying the Carnatic music approach of Indian classical music. It’s a music with a strong emphasis on singing, even if it’s interpreted by instruments. What Gabriel Dharmoo is doing is trying to understand the music as a composer, through playing the music, and playing it on a very western instrument, the cello. This Monday he’ll share that experience with an audience in Chennai. (Photo by Paul Neudorf)

 

This conversation is from the January 7, 2012 edition of "MASALA CANADA with Wojtek Gwiazda" http://www.rcinet.ca/english/program/masala-canada/home/date/07-01-2012/

 

Gabriel Dharmoo music and info – www.gabrieldharmoo.org

 

 

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For more conversations please go here

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MASALA CANADA is an eclectic Canadian radio program with a South Asian flavour hosted and produced by Wojtek Gwiazda at Radio Canada International. rcinet.ca/masala

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BRYAN ADAMS

ALFONS ADETUYI

KIRAN AHLUWALIA

ROGER AUGUSTINE

NOA MENDOLSOHN AVIV

ANN CAVOUKIAN

VIJAYA CHIKERMANE

DENA DAVIDA

GABRIEL DHARMOO

RAVIDA DIN

E.V.

 

ROBERT FOX

NAVEEN GIRN

SUKI GREWAL

DENNIS GRUENDING

DIPNA HORRA


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