With/out Pretend Presents On Distance: A night of virtual storytelling to share pandemic-related experiences

We are devoted fans of With/Out Pretend, both their books and their thoughtfully-programmed literary events. This Thursday they are moving their beloved storytelling night online to explore the theme of Distance.
 
When COVID began, did you self isolate on your own? How long did you go without human touch from another? Were you separated from family? Did your work suddenly stop, because travel was limited? What shifted for you? What growth has transpired over the past few months? What emotions have overwhelmed you? These are some of the questions that a remarkable group of storytellers from across the country will dig into this Thursday. 
 
“We’ve all been going through something together while we’ve been apart. Our common experiences these past few months have inspired us to host a storytelling event to consider Distance: emotional, physical, geographical, social,” reads an announcement from organizers. It’s something we’ve been craving, to help us sort out our own thoughts and feelings. 

Tickets will be PWYC, available on a sliding scale from $5-20 (with a few free tix available for folx who need them). A portion of ticket sales will be donated to Not Another Black Life, an organization that funds and supports Black & Indigenous 2SLGBTQ+ folks, and will be used specifically for their fund for trans women in the Greater Toronto Area. Reserve your spot now by clicking on eventbrite link on their Facebook page.
 
Get to know the speakers…

Jessika Hepburn
@jessikahepburn 

I am an ambiguously multiracial Blackish-Jewish-Scottish intersection of ancestors working to craft a culture of care, abolish white supremacy, redistribute wealth and replace capitalism with community goodness. Find me feeding people, caring for community, serving up radical books and biscuits with a warm welcome at The Biscuit Eater Cafe & Books @biscuiteater a rural cafe and bookstore I co-own with my family in Mahone Bay, NS. Whether it is mothering; stepping up as the only candidate of Black descent for any party in Nova Scotia during the 43 federal election in 2019; organizing creative economies with Maritime Makers and Oh My! Handmade; holding governments, leaders, and companies like Etsy accountable to ethics and human rights; questioning everything or writing and reading as if my life depends on words (it does) I know this to be true: you matter, we belong, I care. 

Rajesh Sankat
@rajeshsankat

Rajesh Sankat (he/him) is a second generation, West-Indian kid who grew up in Toronto. He is a recognized leader and innovator in municipal civic engagement, and currently works for Parks and Recreation at the City of Toronto. His work focuses on local civic engagement in the City, where he strives to build more recognition for and awareness of the way in which public assets and land reflect – or need to better reflect – community voices and needs. Rajesh enjoys cheese plates, his friends, and Bananagrams.

Margeaux Feldman
@margeaux.feldman

Margeaux Feldman (she/her) is a writer, educator, and community builder currently living on Treaty 7 Territory in Calgary, AB. She identifies as a cisgender queer femme, sick babe, and trauma BB from a working-class poor family. Margeaux’s academic and creative writing explore the connections between complex trauma and chronic illness and answer the question: in a world that seeks to oppress and divide us, how do we care for ourselves and others? This question drives all of the work she does in the world, whether it’s leading workshops on conflict resolution, creating community events, or being a human on the internet. She’s a Cancer Sun, Sagittarius Rising, and Aries Moon, which she translates into #ZeroChill. You can learn more about her via her website: margeaxufeldman.com.

Ashley Obscura
@ambientttechnology

ASHLEY OBSCURA (b. 1988) is a Mexican-Canadian, multi-disciplinary writer and publisher. She has published two poetry collections: Ambient Technology (Metatron, 2018) and I Am Here (Metatron, 2014). Recently, her creative focus has been on new media poetics and interactive narrative, writing for the video game Songs of the Lost, and the virtual reality experience Museum of Symmetry (National Film Board of Canada). In addition to her creative work, Obscura is the Founder and Managing Editor of Metatron Press, a literary publisher.

Tamara Jones
@tamaravjones 

Tamara Jones (she/her) is freelance storyteller based in Tkaronto. For money, she creates social media strategies for theatre companies, festivals and film productions. For joy, she dances, starts art projects, and watches rollerskating TikToks. 
 
We’re certain it will be a very special and memorable night. 

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