Corey Black

Corey Black (Jagaran Media Center – JMC): Corey holds an undergraduate degree in political studies from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. He then obtained a Masters degree in International Politics from the University of Edinburgh. After returning to Canada, Corey conducted environmental and energy policy research for Gerard Kennedy, a Canadian federal Member of Parliament, and worked as part of Mr Kennedy’s communications and outreach team during the 2011 federal election. Corey’s AP fellowship was supported by the Human Rights Internet in Ottawa. After his fellowship Corey wrote: “If I do decide to pursue [a PhD], this experience will surely influence my research and critique of schools of thought.”

Goodbye Canada

06 May

The plane departs shortly, and I really have no idea what my work in Nepal will be like. Friends and family ask what exactly I’ll be doing over there? I can only say that I don’t entirely know apart from the job description, and brief conversations I’ve had with Prakash, program manager at the JMC. Talking and working with local journalists and people on the ground about Dalit caste human rights, traveling around Nepal, writing, taking pictures and videos – sounds about right.

Am I nervous or scared? No. I’m ready to jump into this assignment headfirst and immerse myself in the work – whatever it may be. I have no real fears or trepidations. Yes, reporting on human rights abuses will have its interesting and unexpected moments, but none that are worrying. Nepal is a safe and inviting country, and whatever challenges I may face will be overcome, strengthening my resolve and character.

I’ve read a few of Nepalese author Samrat Upadhyay’s novels in preparation – a somewhat cultural and mental introduction to Nepalese society. His stories are laced with allusions to Hindu gods and Buddhist shrines, and always sure to emphasize the importance of family and caste on the Nepalese way of life. His characters interact with Kathmandu’s streets, business, and politics – dodging in and out of teahouses, bars, and temples. For Upadhyay’s Nepal, like any society really, history is alive and inescapable, haunting and influencing the present. The public face of the family presented to the neighbourhood is often a mask to a darker and more complicated reality… One I hope to penetrate as my time in Nepal goes on.

So time to depart the heavy rains of Toronto’s spring, and arrive as monsoon season prepares it’s lashing of Kathmandu. Suitcases are packed, preparations have been made, but my mind and body remain in Toronto. The work of past Peace Fellows at the JMC helps serve me as a mental guide, but it can only be that. I expect a sensory overload upon arrival in Kathmandu, but until that time, I’ll be going about my business day by day, saying goodbyes. Six months in Nepal. More to come…

Posted By Corey Black

Posted May 6th, 2011

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