Migrants, Borders, Citizenship

Part of ‘A Potential Toronto’
Initiated by Toronto School of Creativity & Inquiry (TSCI)

More info: www.t-sci.ca

Tues., 23 Oct. 2007
7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Toronto Free Gallery
660 Queen Street East (two blocks w. of Broadview)

Fleeing marginality and harm in their native countries, many Torontonians continue to live on the margins in their new one as non-status migrants. At the same time, migrant groups have created and spearheaded myriad safe spaces, deep community networks, and countless cultural initiatives throughout Toronto, transforming established norms of citizenship in the process.

What networks of affinity are emerging between self-organized migrant groups? How are politicized groups of non-status migrants redefining citizenship? How are regularization initiatives addressing human rights and migrant safety? How are legalization campaigns like ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ facilitating new security for Toronto’s non-status residents?

Join us on Tues. Oct. 23 as Peter Nyers (McMaster University, Citizenship Studies Media Lab), Cynthia Wright (York University), Patricia Diaz Barrero (Colombian Forced Migration Project), and members of No One Is Illegal (Toronto) open a collective conversation about how citizenship is being rethought within the city’s migrant communities.

About Invited Guests

No One is Illegal (Toronto) is a group of immigrants, refugees and allies who fight for the rights of all migrants to live with dignity and respect. NOII believe that granting citizenship to a privileged few is part of racist immigration and border policies designed to exploit and marginalize migrants. NOII work to oppose these policies, as well as the international economic policies that create the conditions of poverty and war that force migration.

Peter Nyers is Assistant Professor of the Politics of Citizenship and Intercultural Relations in the Department of Political Science, McMaster University. He is the author of Rethinking Refugees: Beyond States of Emergency (Routledge 2006) and is the Associate Editor of the journal Citizenship Studies.

Cynthia Wright is an activist, trade unionist, and contract faculty person at York University. She has been involved in diverse campaigns in Toronto including those aimed at challenging the state production of “illegality”. Together with other academic activists as well as frontline workers, she has prepared studies on the history of state regularization programs and on the access of non-status people to basic city services. Her articles include: “Against Illegality: New Directions in Organizing by and with Non-Status People in Canada“.

Patricia Díaz Barrero is a doctoral candidate in Social and Political Thought at York University. An immigrant from Colombia, she has carried out research with Latin American exotic dancers/stripers and Colombian refugees in Southern Ontario. She is the Ontario coordinator for the international research project “Forced Migration of Colombians: A Comparative Study on Fear, Historical Memory and Public Representations”, and has been an activist in the Latin American women’s community in Toronto. Her latest publication is: “Stripers, erotic and exotic dancers: Immigration and identity in the construction of the Canadian nation-State” published in Cuadernos Pagu, 2005.

About A Potential Toronto
A Potential Toronto is an event series and exhibition spotlighting alternative economies, minor spaces, and organizing strategies. It is a preliminary step in a longer-term counter-cartography project which would render currents of radical energy visible, audible, and tactile.