Toronto Taxi Stories – and the neoliberal relationship.

Over the 10 odd years of living in Toronto, I have taken Taxis all over the city. It is an engaging experience. Many of the drivers are friendly and open to conversations, many like to give young women advice (as per my experience) and as of late when travelling with a child, many like to have conversations in relation to their children.

I am aware of the power relationship that is taking place. Myself, as the young white woman paying customer and they mostly, immigrant people of color as the drivers. I catch myself, in how the habits of my privilege plays out, that even my engagement in beginning a conversation is soaked in being seated in the back and paying for a service. I am customer and they the driver. This is a the neoliberal relationship.  I acknowledge that the moments of stories, laughter and jokes are to me, genuine experiences, and still we are in a Taxi.

There is social etiquette that drivers and passengers are required to uphold. The passenger is informed of their rights as a customer with a laminated piece of paper flapping over the back of the front passenger seat, which has a photo (at least in past) and details for you about your diver. A false sense of security, just in case. Knowledge is power, right?

I don’t know how the driver/s reflect on this, and what they think of the experiences throughout their day. When and if I ask those questions commonly used in interactions with immigrants – how long have you been in Canada?, a whole set of stories emerge. The magnitude of the way neoliberalism further complicates an already messy post-colonial relationship bursts at the seams and begs for something else. The truthfulness of that moment of interaction, is the most real space of possibility for change, to disrupt maybe for a moment of laughter the patterning of relating.

http://www.nycabbie.com/stories.html

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discovering storytelling

i look for inspiration in many places and when i look inward to a tradition closer to my heritage, my initial surprise and ignorance reveals to me the way in which by relationship of association of racist and oppressive events, that i distance myself from aspects of my cultural background. it is saddening to acknowledge the magnitude of racism in the Israeli and Jewish landscape and understandably i recognize how difficult it becomes for me to see beauty. I know beauty does reside there, because while i distance myself, i am part of that. if i can see that beauty resides in me than i believe it does so within aspects of my culture. i believe it is there, i just lose sight of it sometimes.

http://www.folklore-society.com/events/the-last-drutsyla-a-traditional-jewish-storyteller-in-postwar-europe

The Rupture of the Mother Line and the Cost of Becoming Real

Womb Of Light

Julia Hetta

One of the hardest experiences a daughter can have in a mother/daughter relationship is seeing that your mother is unconsciously invested in your smallness. For women in this predicament, it’s truly heart-wrenching to see that, out of her own wounding, the person who gave birth to you unconsciously sees your empowerment as her own loss. Ultimately, it’s not personal but a very real tragedy of our patriarchal culture that tells women they are “less than.”

We all desire to be real, to be seen accurately, to be recognized, and to be loved for who we really are in our full authenticity. This is a human need. The truth is that the process of becoming our real selves involves being messy, big, intense, assertive and complex; the very things patriarchy portrays as unattractive in women. 

Historically, our culture has been hostile to the idea of women as true individuals.

The patriarchy portrays…

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