The city of Toronto is considered one of the most multicultural cities in the world:
The demand for the recognition of cultural, racial, and ethnic differences has come to occupy a central
place in political governments to reflect this new reality. As social anthropologists James Clifford put it
in his article called “Diasporas” (1994), bounded communities or homogenous communities are difficult
to find nowadays. What does it mean to be African-American, Japanese–Canadian, Hispanic American
or Hindo-Canadian or Irish Canadian? What side of the hyphen takes precedence?
The answers to these questions are connected to the notion of a diasporic imagination and of a
social/cultural identity. We can think of a diasporic imagination as a type of collective identity or a
cultural (social) memory defined by a vision or myth of a homeland, or a place of origin. What this mean
is that the main characteristic of a diasporic community is maintaining a “memory”, a vision or myth
about a place, a homeland. According to a common definition, social identity “is the portion of an
individual's self-concept derived from perceived membership in a relevant social group”
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_identity_theory). The context of a diasporic imagination is then one
of forced or voluntary relocation: it is about displacement, exile and immigration. It is about constructing
a new type of identity: one that is new and emerging based on the present conditions of the diaspora.
This new type of identity is ripe with creative possibilities when it comes to art, theatre, and performance.
Theatre and performance scholar Ric Knowles states that, “communities in diaspora interact and constitute
themselves as communities through the performative enactment of intercultural memory (2010: 167).