Poster by Özge Dilan Arslan
All Images taken from Toronto Star Archives

We are happy to announce that the Youth Critics Initiative will be running again in 2020, in partnership with the 24th Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival!

Youth Critics will be given access to the full festival, attend select sessions, events and screenings, and respond through critical writing after the festival is over. These pieces will be hosted through TACLA’s online publication, Taclanese.

Through YCI, TACLA aims to incubate, nurture and archive conversations around the Asian-Canadian creative industries, documenting timely and relevant conversations and publishing them online.

We are looking for writers between the ages of 18-35 who want to work within the following formats:

  • Traditional Essays
    • Opinion Pieces
    • Critical Reviews
    • Interviews
  • Comics
  • Photo Essays
  • Alternative Media formats 
    • Short Vlog
    • Mini podcast 
    • Image posts
    • Internet Art

Writers are expected to produce 2 pieces of criticism for the festival and will be compensated $50 for each piece.

Timeline for YCI

  • Oct 19: Critique as Care
  • Oct 26: Writing Clinic
  • November 12 – 19: Reel Asian Film Festival
  • November 30: Pitches confirmed post-festival 
  • December: First round of writing
  • mid-January – mid-March: Edit Period
  • April: Layout
  • May: Publication for Asian Heritage Month

Critical engagement for us is relational. We believe firmly in the generative possibility of critical literacy and community engagement. Documenting these conversations allows us to build frames to better understand the unique needs of our community’s current moment in relation to larger socio-cultural movements. It also generates archival content for the Asian Canadian creative community.

If you are interested in applying to YCI2, please send your CV, statement of interest and a writing sample to by September 15th, 11:59 PM.

All applicants will be notified of their results by September 25th.


by Enna Kim This piece is a page from a 16-page risograph zine titled “Hiding (숨다).” I created to encapsulate my first time travelling to Korea. A traditional Korean mask is used as a visual aid to represent how I felt hidden and out of touch with my Korean culture throughout my trip. I used […]

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Ever Becoming: Making Zines As Critically Reflexive Practice

by Sameena Eidoo In 2019, I was presented with the opportunity to teach a course titled, “Anti-Discriminatory Education”, to teacher candidates (TCs), future teachers, whom I had previously taught in an educational research methods course. These TCs were already familiar with my pedagogical approach and receptive to an emphasis on humanizing and decolonizing approaches to […]

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Tofu With Shrimp

by Christine Wu In place of my mother’s kitchen I search for guidanceon the Internet, some other family’s foodsteps. Use only the softest little pillowsof beancurd waiting to absorball the world has to unleash. In my mouth,sharp snap of pink-white flesh, memory of my motherwho ate only tofu, couldn’t afford shrimp for herself,all the best […]

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Have You Eaten?

by Soko Fong Negash In Hong Kong Cantonese, “Have you eaten rice yet?” [sihk jó faahn meih a? 食咗飯未呀?] is a common greeting, the equivalent of “how are you?” in English. It’s a question that can cut through any tension or discomfort, no matter how big or small. It’s simple, really: food is labour, and […]

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