Season 1

Dispersion Season One Trailer


Episode 1 Uprooted

Defining Diaspora: In this episode, Cheng and Athena explore reasons behind migration, and their personal experiences of being “uprooted” from their homeland and “replanted” in Canada. This episode provides an introduction to identities, culture, and hybridity.  

Episode 2 The Generational Cappuccino

Cross Generational Identity and Continuity: In this episode, Greg and his daughter, Talar, explore how different generations of Canadians identify with both their homeland and hostland. This episode dives into what it means to have different layers of identity and how one’s identity may be diluted with more milk, or strengthened more coffee over generations.  

Episode 3 Poutine in Portugal Return to Homeland: In this episode, João and Regine talk about their experiences of returning back to their homelands of Portugal and Rwanda after living as Diasporan Canadians. This episode explores the subjects of belonging, staying connected, hybrid identities, race, food and culture, and where one feels most at “home”. 

Episode 4 Am I an activist? Diaspora Influence and Activism in the Homeland: In this episode, Ravneet and Taiwo explore ways that young Diasporans living in Canada support, help and advocate for their homelands. 

Episode 5 Artist vs Spokesperson Artistic Representations of Diasporic Experiences: In this episode award-winning Canadian filmmakers Atom and Deepa explore their roles in sharing their culture and identity through film. They also dive into issues such as representation in film, and discuss the struggle between being an artist and spokesperson for their communities.

Episode 6 Connecting Cultures Through Choir Cultural Education and Continuity: In this episode, Lili and Marta have a conversation about passing on their Latin American and Ukrainian heritages to their communities through their work with the  Vancouver Latin American Cultural Centre Society and the Holodomor Research and Education Consortium. This episode reveals how communities share and preserve culture through informal and formal education, and the creative ways that Diasporas have stayed connected to each other and to their homelands through the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Episode 7 Flip the Script – the Wrap Up  In this episode, we flip the script! The team behind the podcast are in the hot seat.  Jen, Jenna, Megan and Ali share their favourite moments from Season 1, and the themes that they would like to see more of in future episodes. 

Meet the Guests

Episode 1


Cheng Xu is a PhD candidate in Political Science at the University of Toronto. He is a Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholar and the 2021-2022 Cadieux-Leger Fellow at Global Affairs Canada. Cheng has served for nearly ten years in the Canadian Armed Forces as an airborne infantry officer.

Athena Madan is an Assistant Professor at Royal Roads University, School of Humanitarian Studies. She is a naturalised Canadian citizen who is half Filipino and half Indian. Athena is one of the recipients of the 2021 Distinguished Academics Award from the Confederation of Faculty Associations of British Columbia (CUFA BC), and the recipient of the RRU Kelly Outstanding Teacher Award (2021).

Episode 2

The Generational Cappuccino 

Talar is a Development Manager at Oxford Properties, working on multi-phased, mixed-use projects, masterplans and industrial developments. Talar completed a BS in Economics from Babson College, an MBA from IESE in Spain, and a MSRED from Columbia University.  She received the service award at Columbia and is now the co-chair of the Multicultural Alliance ERG at OMERS.

K.M. Greg Sarkissian, is a founding member of the Zoryan Institute. He is the chief strategist of the Institute since 1990 and has been President since 1995. He helped established the Genocide and Human Rights University Program and the partnerships with the University of Toronto Press for Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies and Genocide Studies and Prevention and Genocide Studies International. In 2019, Greg was appointed to the Order of Canada.

Episode 3

Poutine in Portugal

João completed a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Geography and a Masters in Geography and Regional Studies. He completed a PhD Degree at the University of Sussex in the UK. He has worked as a social science researcher at three academic research institutions in Portugal, with his research focused on the ancestral homeland return of the offspring of Portuguese emigrants back to Portugal.

Dr. Régine Uwibereyeho King is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Social Work, in the University of Calgary. King has a PhD in Social Work and a Masters in Counselling Psychology and Community Development. Her research interests include social processes of healing, forgiveness and reconciliation, refugee issues, cross-cultural mental health, Indigenous knowledge, and racial justice. King is a community-based researcher who utilizes critical ethnography and critical narrative methods in her research projects.

Episode 4

Am I an activist?

Taiwo Bello is a senior doctoral student in African History at the University of Toronto, where he also works as a Teaching Assistant and Course Instructor. He is currently a Vanier Scholar, Martin Klein Fellow, and Carmen Brock Fellow in African History. His research interests include gender and women’s studies; violent conflicts and genocide; international history; diaspora studies; digital humanities; and Africa in 20th-century global history.

Ravneet Mann is a legal marketing professional in Toronto, Canada. After obtaining her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto in 2014, she started her role as Program Coordinator at the Zoryan Institute. Ravneet coordinated several of the Institute’s programs including the Genocide and Human Rights University Program and the Syrian Refugee Oral History Program.

Episode 5

Artist vs Spokesperson

Born in Egypt to Armenian parents, Atom Egoyan moved to Canada at an early age and was raised in Victoria, B.C. He developed an early interest in drama and continues to work in theatre and opera, with upcoming productions at Pacific Opera Victoria, the Montreal Opera and the Canadian Opera Company. His eighteen features have won two Academy Award nominations and five prizes at the Cannes Film Festival, including the Grand Prix and International Critics Awards.

Deepa Mehta is an Oscar-nominated filmmaker whose work is celebrated on an international scale. Her films include the Elemental Trilogy: Earth, Fire, Water, the final film of which received an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. Her work challenges traditions and stereotypes and is always daring, fearless and provocative.

Episode 6

Connecting Cultures through Choir

Marta Baziuk is Executive Director of the Holodomor Research and Education Consortium (HREC). Marta represented the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) in Ukraine where she worked with local activists to establish the first nationwide election monitoring organization, the Non-Partisan Committee of Voters. She also oversaw the establishment of a national network of women’s centres that offer job skills training programs, domestic violence hotlines, and other services.

Lili is the Vancouver Latin American Cultural Centre Society’s (VLACC) Executive Director. Lili was one of the founders of VLACC and its vice-president from 2012 to early 2019, while also chairing the Programming Committee. She’s also the spokesperson of the Consulate General of Brazil in Vancouver’s Citizen Council. Born in Brazil, Lili immigrated to Vancouver in 2008 and has over 30 years of experience in arts management.

Meet the Host

Jennifer Haddow