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Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto

Borderless Radio: The Politics of Canadian Cultures

Dr. Miglena Todorova, Assistant Professor, Social Justice Education, OISE/UT

Dr. Miglena Todorova sits with her computer and a table.

Borderless Radio: The Politics of Canadian Cultures is a media project where OISE students produce radio programs dedicated to multiculturalism in Canada, as well as social, political and economic issues that are not discussed in the mass media. The project is created by Dr. Miglena Todorova (SJE) as a critical media literacy component embedded in the “Education and Popular Culture” course she has taught since 2011. In the fall semester of 2011, the students in Dr. Lance McCready’s (CTL) course “Urban Education” also joined the project. So far, 110 students have participated creating radio soundscapes that address a myriad of social and political issues. Whether celebrating or interrogating and subverting what it means to be “Canadian,” these student radio narratives weave together sounds, voices, silences and music in highly creative ways that illuminate the students’ talents, passions and diversity.

(Please click image to view video)

The project was picked up by the local CIUT 89.5 Toronto [ link ] which broadcast a discussion panel titled “Living, Teaching and Studying with Race” featuring participants in the project and their podcasts in May 2012. In December 2012, four more programs were selected by Ken Stower, the station manager of CIUT for broadcast. We continued the collaboration and in the winter semester of 2013, students worked in teams producing one-hour radio panels on social issues, including AIDS/HIV disclosure laws, public funding of faith-based schools, youth unemployment in Toronto, and mental health in schools. These radio features were recorded at the studios of CIUT 89.5 and broadcast in June 2013 under the supervision of sound editor Mr. Erik Betlem.

Ten more student radio programs were broadcast in translation on the Bulgarian National Radio’s Arts and Culture Channel under a special monthly rubric featuring both the project and the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. On the Bulgarian side, this collaboration was managed by Ms. Nevena Pramatarova, a producer of “Artefir.” The podcasts are available on the BNR’s website [ link ].

An article based on the project titled “Dusty but Mighty: Utilizing Radio in the Critical Media Literacy Classroom” is forthcoming in the Journal of Media Literacy Education. Please contact miglena.todorova@utoronto.ca for more information on the project.

We are featuring the student radio podcasts below! Long live radio!


Bulgarian National radio building on a clear sunny day.  Students standing in front of CIUT Radio sign Erik Betlem, sound editor CIUT 89.5 Toronto

    (Bulgarian National Radio)                (Students recording at CIUT 89.5 Toronto)       (Erik Betlem, sound editor at CIUT)


Abadir, M., Appadurai, R., & Rosado, N. - "This Letter"

Abulnour, R., Kahrimanidis, M., MacKinnon, K., & Noor, M. - “The Crisis of Youth Unemployment" (Broadcast May 27, 2013 CIUT 89.5 FM Toronto)

Anderson, M., & Nelson, A. - “Weighted Reflections”

Arellano, J., & Hoang, A. - “Speaking of Weight”

Awan, N., & Mithani, R. - “Teaching 101”

Badali, M., Lazarakis, P., Tennison, L., Rai, M., & Verma, P. - "Beyond Sticks and Stones" (Broadcast May 13, 2013 CIUT 89.5 FM Toronto) 

Bertram, K., Bartlett, S., Laryea, J., Sharma, J., & Wahab, A. - “Safe Spaces in Catholic Schools: Are They Really  Safe?” (Broadcast June 3, 2013 CIUT 89.5 FM Toronto)

Charter, Q., & Shrearer, J. - "Students Talk Education"

DeMello, T., & Siewrattan, K. - "Being Canadian: The Stories We Don't Hear"

Dharamshi, P., & Raza, A. - “A (Canadian) Story Worth Telling” (Broadcast on CIUT 89.5 Toronto 05/23/2012)

Fernando, S., Katrushenko, I., & Lush, J. - “Canadian Community” (Selected for broadcast on CIUT 89.5 FM Toronto)

Hudson, S., & Khogali, Y. - "Boundless Whiteness, Bounded Blackness"

Kim, D., Ligate, A., Warner, A., & Whelan, K. - “Living with HIV and the Law” (Broadcast May 6, 2013 CIUT 89.5 FM Toronto)

O'Handley, L., & Bertagnolio, M. - "Voluntourism: Vocation or Vacation"

Rodrigues, D., & Boyd, Y. - "To Eat or Not to Eat: The GMO Debate"

Saric, L., & Lai, Y. - "Over Diagnosing ADHD"

Scharf-Pierzchala, D., & Le, V. A. - "Sitting Pretty: Gendered Violence on Campus"

Sundaralingan, T., & Rubenstein, K. - “Homeless in Toronto”

Tara Noel and Jessica - “Media in the Mirror”

Todorova, Antonenko, Humphrey, Papadopoulos, & Chuong - “AGO: A Window to the Soul of Canadian Society” (Broadcast on the BNR 05/23/2012)




Agbifoh, Patricia - “My Voice, My Story, My Canada”

Ahmed, Sumaya - “Colours, Frowns and Faces”

Annab, Iman - "Palestine and Stories of Resistance"

Anonymous - "Racism in Multiculturalism" (Broadcast on the BNR 09/2012)

Antonenko, Max - “Who are the Canadians?”

Azis, Adrian - “Deskilling”


Bakhtovarshoeva, Madina - “Identities”

Bishara, Ashley - “In the Eyes of Youth”

Bouchard, Francine -  “Bilingualism in the City”

Boyo, Toju - “Who Am I?” (Broadcast on the BNR 12/12/2012)

Burke, Hailey - "Representing Culture"


Capalad, Lily -  “Youth in Starbucks” (Selected for broadcast on CIUT 89.5 FM Toronto)

Ching, Jeanine - “Oh Canada!”

Chohan, Amandeep - "The U of T Experience"

Chowdhury, Fariah - “Protest Against Jason Kenney”

Chuong, Vanice - “Childhood”

Corradino, Anna-Maria - “Fragmented Conversations”

Croce, Ann-Marie - “Hyphenated Canadians”

Crossfield, Brieanne - "The Kids Will be Alright"

Currie, John - “Elementary School Students”


Dawson, Ashley - “Richard Meets Thuan” (Broadcast on the BNR 10/10/2012)

del Castello, Alexandra - "The UNrealistic Truth"

Dempsey, Stephen - “Daughters”

Douglas, Sean - “The Problem in Education”


Eldemire, Oscar Theo - “Underground Radio” 

Evoy, Brad - “Free Education in Action”


Fraser, Laura - “An Immigrant Journey: From Kenya to Canada”


Gill, Rummy - "It's a Story of a Young Man and Sexuality"

Grevstad, Peter - "A Weighty Ghost"

Grinberg, Tania - “Duppy Riddim”

Gritsenko, Olga - “Education (Really) Matters”

Grossi, Nadia - “A Complex Called Dixon”

Gurprasad, Tiffany - "Hockey Night in Canada"

Gutauskas, Ona - “Being the Song”


Harnisch, Karen - “Reece of Limbrick” 

Harris, Luanna - “Personal Multiculturalism”

Harrison, Alexandra - "What's in a Name?"

Healey, Devon - "Sight's Illusion"

Hilowle, Rahma - "Qafaal and Other Stories"

Horne, Nicola - "Home is Underneath the Tree"

Howard, Lauren - "Democracy & Education"

Hughes, Laura - "Let's Talk about Sex Ed"

Hughes, Laura - "Within and Beyond the Picket Line"

Hui, Laura - "Queering Gender: Giving Voice to Butch Life Stories" (Music composed and produced by Dinah Thorpe)

Humphrey, Jack - “Tim Horton’s Nation”

Hunter, Sarah - “North of the Border”

Huynh, Richard - “Why He Hates Canada”


Ibrahim, Sameehah - “Breaking the Silence” 


Jacobson, Greg - “United Through Sport”

Judhan, Natasha - “My Journey”


Kamara, Fatmata - "Immigrant Experience"

Karstadt, Rachel - "Youth & the Dress Code"

Kauffman, Natalie - “The Multiculturalism of Food” (Broadcast on the BNR 08/29/2012)

Ketchell, Takara - “A Journey through the Closet”

Khullar, Rima - “Accents”

Kipusi, Sein - "Entrepreneurship & Race"

Kolodij, Olena - “A Canadian Story”


Lamaison, Catherine - “Second Chances?” (Broadcast CIUT 89.5 FM Toronto 04/01/13, repeated 04/04/2013)

Leung, Joeanna - "Stereotypical"

Li, Di (Lydia) - "Russian Dissent"

Lowes, Sarah - “Connecting the (Environmental) Dots”

Lui, Elizabeth - “My Diversity and the City” (Selected for broadcast on CIUT 89.5 FM Toronto)


MacDonald, Averie - “Between a Rock and a Hard Place”

Marmol, Emil - “The Corporate University” (Broadcast CIUT 89.5 FM Toronto 04/01/2013, repeated 04/04/2013)

Martin, Allison - "Equal Opportunity"

Martyn, Becky - "Isolation in Winter"

Mast-Hernandez, Ashley - “Mother to Activist”

Mazengwe, Olinda - “Untitled”

McCann, Margaret - “Laughter in the Beaubourg”

McCourt, Vanessa - "Indigenous Women in Prison” (Broadcast CIUT 89.5 FM Toronto, 04/01/2013, repeated 04/04/2013)

McIntyre, Laura - “Media Bodies”

Mir, Fizza - "Fast Fashion & Commodifying Conscience"

Metz, Victoria - “Sex at Any Age”

Minkhors, Grant - “Big India, Little India” (Broadcast on CIUT 89.5 Toronto 05/23/2012)

Moosa, Fauzia - "Depression Diaries"


Nakevska, Marina - “Canada’s Support for Israel”

Nazari, Fulya - "It's Still There"

Nitsou, Christina - “Where Are You From?”


Papadopoulos, Nikoletta - “Greek Canadian”

Poloczek, Christine - “Multiculturalism in the Arts”

Prell, Sabrina - “Bullying in a Technological Era”


Rakuc, Krzysztof - “Static” (Broadcast on the BNR 06/20/2012)

Ramkarran, Amanda - "The Rhetoric of Bullying"

Rigelhof, K. - "Generation Social Media: Are Youth Voting?"

Robinson, Daniella - "Histories, Truth-Sharing and the Importance of Storytelling"

Rushe, Shannon - “Roulette”


Saifer, Adam - “Vancouver 2010” (Broadcast on the BNR 04/25/2012)

Schnarr, Graeme - “Fair Trade Electronics”

Scramstad, Julianna - “Revolution”

Seltzer, Tonya - “The Dark Side of Multiculturalism”

Selvarajah, Gabby - "What's Barbaric"

Sewell, Pritania - “Injustice-isms”

Shaikh, Arshi - "No Title"

Shalaby, Adam - “Belonging”

Sukhram, Ambeika - “Caribana” (Broadcast on the BNR 02/20/2013)

Sullivan, Cathlin - "Fundraising Inequality"


Tario, Josue - "Existence is Resistance"

Thorpe-Gosley, Amelia - “Social Media over the Binary”

Troung, Sina - “A Canadian Story” (Broadcast on the BNR 06/18/2012)

Tull, Kimberly - “Black Girls Are”


Wells, Brandon - "The Crisis of Locker Room Homophobia"

Wilson, Melanie - “Signs of the Encoder” (Broadcast on the BNR 03/06/2013)

Wright, Jessica - “Save Tibet”

Wrighte, Shannon - "What a Feminist Sounds Like"