Speaking the Same Language - The Coast

The Melli family think about their journey in terms of routes. There are the one they took to flee their apartment in a suburb of Damascus, and the roads that take each member of the family through HRM to their respective language classes. Then there are the daily adjustments to an unfamiliar place that nonetheless loom large when the family thinks about the ups and downs of their new life. Read more


Seeking Shelter from the Storm - Inside Halifax's Housing Crisis - The Coast

Affordable housing is one of those terms that seems to mean less every time you use it. At least, that’s how Elaine Williams sees it. “When they say ‘affordable housing,’ that drives me crazy.”  

Williams has lived in Mulgrave Park, at the northern end of the Halifax peninsula, for decades—45 years, to be exact, minus one year she spent in an apartment outside the community. (“I didn’t like it.”) Read more


Freelance Reporting Comes With Some Heavy Costs - The Coast

When a newspaper starts to crumble—as seen recently with the Chronicle Herald—the burden falls squarely on the journalists on staff, who face apparently endless cuts and ever-increasing workloads. But the unravelling of traditional media has also affected those who aren’t even employees: that is, freelance journalists.

According to an email obtained by the CBC, Chronicle Herald management has reached out to freelance journalists—including journalism students—to act as replacement workers during the upcoming lockout. Management has offered the option to work from home, and to opt out of identifying bylines. Read more


Dead Weight: The Cost of Halifax's Orphaned Cemeteries - The Coast

In some cities, a cemetery plot is prime real estate. An overabundance of the living leaves little room for the dead, driving down the availability of cemetery space even as prices for plots go up. A grave in perennially-overpriced Vancouver can cost as much as $52,000.

But there’s a different kind of spectre haunting some of Halifax’s burial grounds.  As congregations dwindle, church officials are looking to the municipality to adopt cemeteries that have been orphaned by church closures. Read more


Failure to Connect: Nova Scotia's Digital Divide - The Coast

In the heady early days of the internet, the players were few. But among that small group, there was one pioneering Canadian province: Nova Scotia—the first place in the country where the internet was widely available.

On face value, we’re still doing well. In Nova Scotia, broadband internet is technically available to 99 percent of the population. But scratch beneath that surface, and a different picture is revealed.  Read more


Queer, Trans People Take Aim at the Patriarchy Through Witchcraft - VICE Canada

Patriarchy should be feeling a pricking in its thumbs right about now. The witch is back, and this time it's taking aim at the norms of gender itself.

Over the course of the 20th century, the popular idea of the witch underwent a transformation. Gone was the baby-eating, Satan-worshipping hag of Medieval Europe, and in its place emerged a potent female healer. Read more.


Mapping the Social Arctic - Halifax Examiner

For most, it’s hard to imagine a harder environment to navigate than the Arctic. 19th century British explorers certainly thought so; British ships trying to find the Northwest Passage were frequently trapped or destroyed by the ice, including Sir John Franklin’s doomed vessel, recently discovered in the waters off King William Island in Nunavut.

But what if that environment isn’t as hostile as it appears? Read more.


Part Time Work, Full Time Misery - Halifax Examiner

Shaun Bartone has been teaching in colleges and universities since 1998.  With two masters degrees and a law degree under his belt, he's now on his way to completing a PhD.  He also lives in public housing.

"I qualify for public housing, thank god," he says. "I'm appreciative of that because it floats with my income, so if I'm not teaching [rent] goes down."  Read more.


'1984' prepared me for adulthood -

Dystopian narratives have a particularly prominent place in the Young Adult canon.  It's unsurprising that narratives featuring individuals struggling against a system would appeal to young adults navigating between the pressures of conformity and their emerging individuality.  In this, I was no exception Read more.


Back Matter: a brief history of indexing - Lapham's Quarterly

Imagine a world without organized information.  The possibility conjures to mind a Borgesian vision of books stacked in unmanageable piles, a dusty tidal wave of knowledge threatening to engulf the unwary.  And yet, prior to the mechanization of printing in the fifteenth century, no such system existed.  The 700,000 unwieldy twelve-foot scrolls housed in the ancient library at Alexandria did not allow for internal organization beyond the inclusion of slips of paper denoting title and author.  Nor did medieval scriptoria, prodigiously productive though they could be, require or afford any uniform method of sorting through copied information. Read more.