Sanchari Sur is a PhD Candidate in English at Wilfrid Laurier University. Their work can be found in the Toronto Book Award Shortlisted The Unpublished City (Book*hug, 2017), Arc Poetry Magazine, Room, Flare Magazine, Daily Xtra, etc. and forthcoming on Al Jazeera and Joyland. Sanchari is a recipient of a 2019 Banff Residency (with Electric Literature), a 2018 Lambda Literary Fellowship in fiction, and grants from Ontario Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts. They curate Balderdash Reading Series in Waterloo, Ontario (est. Jan 2017), and is an editor at Insomniac Press and Watch Your Head.
What is Diaspora?
I have been an English student for such a long time that I often forget that the lingo I am familiar with may be unfamiliar to others outside my own circle. It was only when a friend pointedly asked me “what the hell is diaspora?” that the inaccessibility of all of my blog’s content slapped me in the face.
Well, diaspora by itself is a loaded and presumptuous term. Wikipedia would suggest that diaspora refers to dispersion, or scattering. Diaspora theorists, on the other hand, would point to concepts of exile, displacement and hybridity (all of which may appear to be foreign terms to a layman). I see diaspora as a space outside of one’s homeland. It’s a loaded term, because although I was born in India, I am a Canadian now. So, in a way, I have two homelands, India and Canada. There are many others who can put a claim onto more than just two “homelands”.
It can be argued that home is where the heart is, however clichéd that sounds. In the case of my blog, “diaspora” is a paradox. It’s a term to be deconstructed at leisure. Definitely not a term to be taken for granted. And since I have had more than one “home” and plan to have many more, I am hoping to have the “diaspora” as my playground.
Why South Asian in the Diaspora?
I never thought of myself as South Asian. That was before I moved to Canada and realized that I was a minority. The fastest growing visible minority in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), mind you. “South Asian,” in this case, is also a term to be deconstructed.
Diaspora Literature and Theory, Post-Colonial South Asian Literature, CanLit, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Feminist Theory, Trauma Theory, Disability Theory, Trans Theory, Politics of Storytelling.
Email: sur [dot] sanchari [at] gmail [dot] com
Fashion Blog (2014 – 2015): FashUnFauxPas
Reading Series (Jan 2017 – present): Balderdash Reading Series
The Lady and the Beard (short story collection in progress)
Blood Red Sky (novel in progress)