Arts·Poetic License

'Forever an immigrant': An Iranian-Canadian poet takes on turbulent times

For 19-year-old spoken word poet Nasim Asgari, Canada's constant comparisons to our neighbours to the south are "trumping us back."

For Nasim Asgari, Canada's constant comparisons to our neighbours are 'trumping us back'

For Nasim Asgari, Canada's constant comparison to its neighbours is 'trumping us back.' 2:42

"I won't stand on guard for a place that doesn't stand on guard for me."

Those are the words of Nasim Asgari, a 19-year-old "seeker and student of the truth who happens to passionately write and perform poetry while studying human rights and equity studies at York University."

Asgari is the latest poet in CBC Arts' video series Poetic License. She's been writing since the age of 10 when she decided to use her voice and written words to express herself and bring awareness to issues that are often undermined in the world today. In the above video, she makes that mission clear — and warns Canadians against feeling too superiors to our neighbours down south.

"Yes, I'm a Muslim Iranian woman with thick eyebrows and eyelashes that are native to my motherland," she says. "A place whose name will never resonate with you, not only because you mispronounce it but when you hear 'Iran' you automatically think of nuclear weapons and sanctions, compulsion and oppression."

Follow Asgari on Twitter.

Watch Exhibitionists Sundays at 4:30pm (5 NT) on CBC.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.