Challenging the Dominant Narratives with Vivek Shraya

February 21, 2018

“I try to resist homogenization by trying to always consider how to complicate dominant narratives.”  
-Vivek Shraya

National Speakers Bureau is proud to introduce you to our newest exclusive speaker Vivek Shraya:

A multi-faceted talent, Vivek challenges audiences to speak out and actively work towards changing the deep-seated biases we see in society. She works tirelessly on her craft and amplifying underrepresented voices.

Vivek’s messaging is all about growth. She shows us that we all have deep-seeded assumptions and prejudices while challenging us to let go of our attachment to sameness.

Artist & Speaker Vivek Shraya

Photo by Nick Wong

Vivek’s acclaimed work spans a range of disciplines: music, writing, film and more. When it comes to her work, she says “I love being creative. People have different reasons for waking up in the morning and, for me, having a creative project, whether it’s writing a song or a story, that’s my reason for waking up. It keeps me stabilized, grounded and inspired.”

Vivek explores a range of topics in her keynote presentations, which include:

On Gender:  Celebrating Feminity | Vivek shares her journey to celebrating femininity, in herself, her mother, her religious upbringing, and in pop culture, despite her early experiences of misogyny, sexism and homophobia. This presentation addresses the ways we are taught to think about gender and the danger of not recognizing our complicity in the prevalence of misogyny and sexism.

On Education:  What I Love About Being Queer/Queering the Classroom | In this presentation, Vivek discusses her own experiences of invisibility in school as inspiration for creating art that features gender creative protagonists and the impact this work has had in the classroom. 

On Mental Health:  Thinking About Suicide | Highlighting her experience as an example for others, she shows how thinking about suicide is often a result of experiencing various forms of oppression, including racism, homophobia and misogyny. She explains the impact that love and listening has had on her mental health and her relationship to thinking about suicide.

 


Vivek’s latest endeavor brings another element to her skillset: Academia. She recently took on the role of an assistant professor in the University of Calgary’s Department of English. Even in this realm, she’s pushing for change. Vivek is teaching an intro to science fiction class where the focus will be on works by authors who encompass diversity: “My education experience in Canada was one where I didn’t encounter, to my knowledge, a book by an author of colour until I was in third-year university…I’m really passionate about visibility and representation, especially in post-secondary contexts. Like a lot of other genres in English, sci-fi and conversations around sci-fi have often been dominated by white authors so it felt really important to centre Indigenous writers, black writers and writers of colour.”

More exciting projects are on the horizon for Vivek in the year ahead. Her new book I’m Afraid of Men is set for release in Fall 2018 (Penguin Canada). The book will explore her experiences with “toxic masculinity” and reflect on its pervasive manifestations as sexual harassment and abuse, homophobia, transphobia and bullying.




 

Learn more about Vivek’s talks & how her insights on Diversity, Inclusion & Mental Health, can help inspire your audience by contacting us.