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Anya Wassenberg

Freelance writer

Anya is a long-time freelance writer with a varied career that has included everything from books to print periodicals, and loads of online writing from social media to copywriting. Along with writing, she is a singer and has been known to work as a fine art model. Visit her at and
Want Meaningful, Original Journalism? Then Start Paying For

Want Meaningful, Original Journalism? Then Start Paying For It

So, you want to complain that journalists won't delve into worthy topics and look for story lines that others aren't covering? Sorry, but if it's not a trending topic, there's no money to be made. If that's what you want, then like anything else of value, you'll just have to go back to paying for it.
03/07/2017 12:22 EST
I Paid The Price For Arriving Early To The Braless

I Paid The Price For Arriving Early To The Braless Revolution

I'd been teased mercilessly from about grade four or five on about the smallness of my breasts -- good, honest B cups, but they were not the favoured size of my youth. So I came to a logical conclusion: I stopped wearing a bra. Why bother, if no one's looking? I did mention I was naive.
10/18/2016 03:18 EDT
Why We Can't Make Pretty Art

Why We Can't Make Pretty Art Anymore

Art is a kind of counter thread of truth to the glossy fictions of pop culture. Western society lost its moral certainty about a century ago and rightfully so. If artists are to confront truth, the truth is so often, so ugly.
11/20/2015 02:24 EST
When I Turned 50 I Realized I Could

When I Turned 50 I Realized I Could Sing

I have a history of doing things out of sync with the rest of the world. I started nude modeling at age 34 (a whole story unto itself). I realized I could sing right about when I turned 50. An outside observer might have noticed that the signs were there.
07/03/2014 11:54 EDT
A White Canadian in

A White Canadian in Harlem

It's impossible for me to be invisible in Harlem. I'm not just me; I stand for something. "They even come up here now," a guy said to my face with disdain. I'm a they; some kind of collective face. I feel strangely protected in my conspicuousness, but that might be an illusion. But I'm not the only white woman in Harlem, of course.
11/19/2013 05:15 EST
Stories from Canada's Afro-Caribbean Music

Stories from Canada's Afro-Caribbean Music Artists

Coming to Canada from across the globe represents a giant leap of faith in this country -- a faith with sometimes shaky foundations. Newly-arrived African and Caribbean artists find themselves joining a growing yet largely unrecognized contingent of immigrant musicians trying to carve out a living.
06/12/2013 05:00 EDT
The Renaissance of Aboriginal

The Renaissance of Aboriginal Culture

Is there a renaissance of Aboriginal culture in Canada? I only stepped off the beaten path of mainstream arts and culture a few years ago, so I had no context when I began to see that concept floating around in media releases over the last little while. Those who write media releases being overly fond of turning catchy phrases and declaring trends, I decided to ask around and let those who know tell the story.
02/02/2013 12:12 EST
Canadian Playwright Brad Fraser on Keeping Things

Canadian Playwright Brad Fraser on Keeping Things Interesting

Canadian playwright (screenwriter and director and producer) extraordinaire Brad Fraser has been lighting up Canada's literary scene for many years. Outside of his stage projects, he shares his blunt take on politics and other hot topics in <em>Xtra Magazine</em> every month in his Fraser's Edge column. Like the man himself, his columns are reasoned, outspoken, often witty, and never boring.
10/01/2012 04:55 EDT
The Woman Who Plays the

The Woman Who Plays the Pipa

Borderlands: Wu Man and the Master Musicians of the Silk Route on the Smithsonian Folkways label is the 10th and final CD/DVD set in the award-winning "Music of Central Asia" series, co-produced with the Aga Khan Music Initiative. It follows the journey of musician Wu Man in finding the future of her instrument, the pipa, in its past.
07/15/2012 12:28 EDT
Musical Activism: Wake Up

Musical Activism: Wake Up Madgascar

When most North Americans think of Madagascar, they think of the adorable animated creatures who inhabit the DreamWorks Madagascar film franchise. New York-based, Malagasy born singer Razia Said is hoping that she can attract at least a little of the interest in the film to the real Madagascar.
07/13/2012 04:28 EDT
This Artist IS

This Artist IS Present

This HBO documentary on the life and work of Marina Abramović, <em>The Artist Is Present</em>, which airs in Canada this month, will be of interest to performance art enthusiasts, to be sure, but should also be of interest to all the sceptics out there. You'll be convinced by what you see in the film -- people in tears, smiling, obviously moved.
06/11/2012 03:05 EDT
Experimental Theatre is Back in the

Experimental Theatre is Back in the Spotlight

To say that the theatrical works of Young Jean Lee are thematically diverse is something of an understatement. They may tackle different issues, but what they do have in common is their origins: her work begins by putting herself into an uncomfortable situation and then writing/performing her way out of it. It's a unique working process that has resulted in some of the most celebrated experimental theatre on the continent.
05/09/2012 12:32 EDT
Do Black Dance Companies Hit a Glass

Do Black Dance Companies Hit a Glass Ceiling?

It's hard to understand a rationale for the lingering reluctance of mainstream society to truly embrace the work of people of colour as an essential element of its <em>own</em> culture -- not an exception, not as a special category forever locked in a time vault of supposed historical purity.
02/01/2012 03:31 EST
Why I Watch Movies to Get My

Why I Watch Movies to Get My News

The arts offer a view across cultures and geography, and sometimes, seeing the "other" point of view can be startling; if you're from Cambodia, what we call the Vietnam War is known as the American War. That's what art will always have on corporate news.
12/31/2011 12:08 EST
Prosecutor Film Uncovers ICC

Prosecutor Film Uncovers ICC Struggles

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11/20/2011 09:25 EST