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James Cullingham is an award winning documentary filmmaker, historian and journalist with Tamarack Productions based in Nogojiwanong – Peterborough. His documentaries concerning social justice, history and popular culture have been screened around the world. Cullingham was an executive producer with CBC Radio and has been published by Canada’s leading newspapers and magazines. He is an Adjunct Graduate Faculty Member in Canadian Studies and Indigenous Studies at Trent University. Cullingham is also a part time professsor in the Faculty of Arts at Seneca College. He has recently released a book “Two Dead White Men – Duncan Campbell Scott, Jacques Soustelle and the Failure of Indigenous Policy” (Seneca Press.).

Abdulrahman Matar is a Syrian-born writer, journalist, poet and novelist. He is a member of PEN Canada’s Writers in Exile group, the Syrian writers’ Association, and the Writers’ Union of Canada. He came to Ontario as a refugee in 2015. Matar is the founder and director of the Mediterranean Studies Center and Syrian-Mediterranean Cultural Forum – SEEGULL. He has published five books and is a researcher in Euro-Mediterranean relations and human rights, and an activist for civil society issues. As a result of his writings, he has been arrested five times and spent nearly 10 years in prison. His novel “Wild Mirage” is about his experiences as a prisoner of conscience. Matar was interviewed by PEN’s Student Intern, Sara Taslim.

Arzu Yildiz Arzu graduated from Istanbul Bilgi University in TV Journalism Department and has worked as a journalist, editor, and senior reporter. She has written critical pieces of investigative journalism about unresolved murder cases in the Southeast against Kurdish businessmen and illegal weapons supply to Syria. She has four books published (New Canadian Media).

Luis Horacio Nájera extensively reported violence across the US-Mexico border since 1995. He fled to Canada in 2008 after receiving death threats because of his work as senior correspondent in Ciudad Juárez, one of the world`s most violent cities due to organized crime activity. Recipient of the 2010 International Press Freedom Award by CJFE, and one of 2011 Human Rights Watch Hellman/Hammett awards. Member of Massey College and PEN Canada’s Writers in Exile network. Author -with Peter Edwards- “The Wolfpack: The millennial mobsters who brought chaos and the cartels to the Canadian underworld”, Random House of Canada, 2021. As part of his reinvention in exile, Luis completed a Master of Global Affairs from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Disaster and Emergency Management at York University.