Watch Dionne Brand talk about exploring dispersal, diaspora and the desire to belong
'Dispersal is your history. Belonging is dispersal.'
In 1999, renowned Canadian novelist, poet and essayist Dionne Brand shared her thoughts on how her writing explores dispersal, diaspora and the desire to belong. As a black Canadian born in Trinidad, Brand noted that she cannot separate what was experienced by her ancestors from her own journey today.
"You know, I suppose at that moment, that passage, that historical moment where people were brought as slaves from Africa to the Caribbean and to the Americas, in general, is a moment of dispersal," she says. "And I'm part of that dispersal myself. And so it is in your every footstep, in a sense. It's your new Kant — your new marker in your head is dispersal, in a sense. Dispersal is your history. Belonging is dispersal. The journey is the thing, not the destination. So I wanted to play with all those kind of ideas about, you know, place and belonging and journey."
As we look ahead to next week's Canada Reads 2017, CBC Arts is digging through our archives to find a few gems and share a bit of wisdom from some of the nation's most treasured writers. Stay tuned for more this week!
For more throwbacks like this one, visit the CBC Digital Archives.