The Sunday Magazine

The Sunday Magazine for December 20, 2020

Piya Chattopadhyay speaks to legendary children's entertainer Raffi, sociologist Lynne Murphy, Karina Vernon who has created the anthology The Black Prairie Archives and sociologist Juliet Schor.
Piya Chattopadhyay is host of The Sunday Magazine. (CBC)

This week on The Sunday Magazine with host Piya Chattopadhyay:

Baby Beluga's 40th anniversary: Why Raffi thinks we need to 'build back better' from the pandemic

At the end of a year that was full of fears and uncertainties — for kids and grown-ups alike — Chattopadhyay checks in with the legendary children's singer and sage Raffi Cavoukian (whose classic "Baby Beluga" turned 40 this year) for his thoughts on finding hope in this tough time, making sense of things for our children, and the lessons 2020 can teach us all for rebuilding a world that respects the Earth and our kids.

How we processed 2020 through language

In the final instalment of our ongoing language segment Word Processing for this year, we get meta by looking at how we processed 2020 through language. Even dictionary writers didn't hesitate to use "unprecedented" to describe the speed and degree to which our language changed to keep pace with the global health crisis. Chattopadhyay speaks with linguist Lynne Murphy about the new words we coined, the old and specialized words that formed the new vocabulary needed to protect one another, and how to capture a time in words.

The prairies' forgotten history of Black life and culture

As a child in rural Alberta, Karina Vernon thought she and her sister might be the only Black people in the prairies. Years later, she stumbled across a description of a Black fur trader on the Athabasca River, and her conception of the region was forever changed. Her anthology, The Black Prairie Archives, includes poetry, fiction, farming journals, editorials, and song lyrics from 1790 to the present. She speaks with Chattopadhyay about how different eras of Black migration have shaped the prairies, and how these forgotten histories could reshape our collective understanding of Canada.

Salvaging the gig economy's broken promises

When the "sharing economy" launched about a decade ago, its proponents said it would revolutionize work and transform society. But it didn't take long before app-based gig work showed a darker, more dystopian side. Chattopadhyay speaks with sociologist Juliet Schor, author of After the Gig, about what went wrong, and how we can engineer a reboot, particularly as many of us have relied more on gig-fuelled services during this pandemic.