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PS Flight 752: Two Articles on Violence and Public Mourning

The missile strike against a civilian plane, PS Flight 752 on January 8, 2020 triggered grief and memories of a much earlier bombing on June 23, 1985.

Here are two articles that contemplate violence within the context of history and solidarity, as we both grieve for the families who lost loved ones and offer a few thoughts:

My Aunt Died in the Air India Bombing. The Iran Plane Crash Brought Back My Grief

I grew up reading Chatelaine, an iconic Canadian magazine geared to a female readership. This week they contacted me to write about grief and here’s a little of what I said:

Iran plane crash flight 752 memorial
People gather to remember victims of the plane crash in Iran in Vancouver, B.C. on January 11, 2020. (Photo, Mert Alper Dervis/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)


I hate flying and will do anything to avoid air travel. Well-meaning friends often tease me, offering self-help tips: take melatonin, or a red-eye flight so that you can sleep.
I nod and smile, but inside, there’s a familiar sinking feeling, the same pit-of-the-stomach contraction that happens whenever images of plane crashes pop up on social media. Like they did on January 8, as the terrible news of the missile strike on Flight 752 began to saturate the media…”

Read the Full Article at Chateleine


Canada’s collective grief over the Ukrainian plane crash brings to mind the 1985 Air India tragedy

Dr. Angela Failler at the University of Winnipeg, recently published this very thoughtful piece at The Conversation about public mourning and the linkages between the two tragedies:

Flight PS752 Remembrance
A member of the Iranian community in Calgary lights a candle during a memorial for the victims of Flight PS752 crash. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol.


And so, as further details of the tragedy in Tehran unfold and political players in and beyond Canada negotiate their stakes, I expect that public memory will shift along with it, including how the incident and its casualties are remembered and understood.

This is how public memory works: When new information and investments become present, we tend to revise how we make sense of the past.”

Read the Full Article at The Conversation

Events and readings

Sept 14 & 15: Remembering Air India Book Launch

New from University of Alberta Press, Remembering Air India:

On June 23, 1985, the bombing of Air India Flight 182 killed 329 people, most of them Canadians. Today this pivotal event in Canada’s history is hazily remembered, yet certain interests have shaped how the tragedy is woven into public memory, and even exploited to advance a strategic national narrative. Remembering Air India insists that we “remember Air India otherwise.” This collection investigates the Air India bombing and its implications for current debates about racism, terrorism, and citizenship. Drawing together academic analysis, testimony, visual arts, and creative writing, this innovative volume tenders a new public record of the bombing, one that shows how important creative responses are for deepening our understanding of the event and its aftermath.”

Book launch details in Toronto and Hamilton:

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Events and readings

air india [redacted]: silence & longing 30 years since flight 182

TPE AI Rackcard

Based on the award-winning book of poetry “children of air india” by Vancouver writer, Renée Sarojini Saklikar, this is an international project with music by Irish composer Jürgen Simpson. air india [redacted] is a multi-layered work featuring Turning Point Ensemble, soprano Zorana Sadiq, baritone Alexander Dobson, countertenor Daniel Cabena and moving images. The result is an innovative theatrical experience of music, voice, poetry and projections that will address multiple issues related to the Air India bombing.”

Showtimes: November 6, 7, 10, and 11th at 8:00 pm, Doors at 7:30 pm
Matinee performance: November 8 at 2:00 pm, Doors at 1:30 pm

Location: Fei & Milton Wong Experimental Theatre, SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 W. Hastings Street, Vancouver