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Two productions in Luminato's 2019 festival program explore witch hunts - Obeah Opera follows the tribulations of the Salem Witch Trials, while Hell’s Fury: The Hollywood Songbook focuses on the life of composer Hanns Eisler during the paranoia of the McCarthy era.
With the term “witch hunt” still being used in today’s political climate, we look at what this term has meant throughout history. Thought leaders and academics will discuss why our current systemic structures need to be dismantled and how we can learn from our mistakes to build a more inclusive society free from this type of vilification.
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Denise Balkissoon is a columnist at the Globe and Mail. Previously, she was a host on Colour Code, the Globe’s award-winning podcast about race in Canada.
Annamaria Enenajor is a partner at Ruby Shiller Enenajor DiGiuseppe, Barristers, recently named one of Canada’s Top 10 criminal law boutiques by Canadian Lawyer Magazine. She practices criminal defence, regulatory and constitutional law. In addition to supporting clients through litigation, Annamaria provides comprehensive and strategic advice related to criminal and regulatory law with a focus on Cannabis Act compliance. She is also an outspoken public advocate for cannabis decriminalization and frequently writes, lectures and speaks to the media on this topic. She is the founder and Campaign Director of the Campaign for Cannabis Amnesty. She frequently writes, lectures and consults on how to create a cannabis legalization regime that is equitable and inclusive for all Canadians. Follow her on Twitter: @AEnenajor.
Dr. Hyacinth Simpson is an Associate Professor in the Department of English and the Yeates School of Graduate Studies at Ryerson University in Toronto where she specializes in Caribbean, postcolonial, and diasporic literatures. She has published numerous articles, book chapters, and reviews on Caribbean fiction and poetry, as well as on films and plays produced within the region and its diasporas. From 2005-2014, she was Editor of the peer-reviewed scholarly journal MaComère, which won the Horizon Award from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals in 2010. She is also creator, contributor, and editor of the digital humanities Caribbean poetry project Gardening in the Tropics, and is currently at work on a critical study of the Jamaican short story since Independence. Dr. Simpson’s work on Jamaican soldiers in the First World War began when she came across little known documents pertaining to the plight of Jamaican soldiers caught in a blizzard in Halifax in 1916 while on a research trip in Jamaica. In subsequent trips to various archival holdings in Jamaica, Canada, and the UK, she uncovered a fuller narrative of the journey of the Third Jamaica Contingent of the British West Indies Regiment from Kingston, to Halifax, and then to Bermuda and England. Dr. Simpson’s presentation for TO DO OUR SHARE: The African Canadian Experience in World War 1 focuses on the link between the hospitalization of over 100 men of the Third Jamaica Contingent between March 1916 and April 1917 and the initiation of the Canadian Military Hospital Commission’s rehabilitation program for returned invalided and wounded soldiers.
Bhavan Sodhi is Case Management Counsel at Innocence Canada, an Adjunct Professor and Director of the Innocence Project at Osgoode Hall Law School and an Instructor for the Wrongful Conviction Clinical Program at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law.
As Case Management Counsel, Bhavan is responsible for overseeing the progress and management of Innocence Canada’s cases nationally. She has worked on a number of s.696.1 Applications for Ministerial Review and matters before both the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of Canada. Bhavan also supervises many of Innocence Canada’s clinical and externship programs, is a frequent presenter on legal education initiatives regarding wrongful convictions and has contributed a number of articles to the Criminal Lawyers’ Association of Ontario and the Ontario Bar Association.
While completing her legal studies at Osgoode Hall Law School, Bhavan fostered her passion for criminal law under the guidance of experts in criminal litigation. She has previously served as Case Worker, Executive Assistant and Staff Lawyer for the Innocence Project respectively. She has also worked with the Ontario Justice Education Network to create classroom resources aimed at preventing wrongful convictions.
Bhavan completed her Articles of Clerkship with a leading criminal law firm in Toronto, where she later worked as an associate. She also has experience working as an Assistant Crown Attorney.