Beyond Multiculturalism

Posted by admin on May 3rd, 2007

Celebrate Asian Heritage Month with a critical perspective on labour, migration, and race in a special film screening and discussion

Thursday May 3 @ 6pm
Rhizome Café, 317 E. Broadway (corner Kingsway)
Films by donation $0-5

Organized by No One is Illegal-Vancouver and supported by Association of Chinese Canadians for Equality and Solidarity Society and South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy.


*** 6:00 PM: “In the Shadow of Gold Mountain”. In the Shadow of Gold Mountain travels from Montreal to Vancouver to uncover stories from the last living survivors of The Chinese Head Tax and Exclusion Act, in force from 1885 until 1947. This unfair legislation plunged the Chinese community in Canada into more than 62 years of debt and family separation. At the centre of the film are personal accounts of people like James Wing, who, at the age of 10, was forced to pay $500 – the cost of two houses at the time – to live with his father in Canada, and Gim Wong, a WWII veteran who witnessed his parents’ struggle to pay off their Head Tax debt. This compelling documentary sheds light on an era that shaped the identity of generations of Chinese in Canada and reveals the profound ways that history still casts its shadow.

* DISCUSSION in between films, including with community organizers for Chinese Head Tax redress and Kamagata Maru redress and memorial.

*** 7:30 PM: “Continuous Journey”. The Kamagata Maru entered the port of Vancouver in 1914. On board were 376 immigrants, who for two months, lived like prisoners, threatened by famine and disease as the ship was refused permission to land. At the time, Canadian society was characterized by strong racist tendencies among people determined to preserve a predominantly white, Anglo-Saxon heritage and who called openly for a “White Canada Forever.” The incident of the Kamagata Maru marks a dark chapter in Canada’s immigration history and contributed to the growing anti-colonial sentiment in India. The film, which required eight years of research, is solidly documented, packed with archival material, and presented in an original way that resonates powerfully with contemporary events.

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