Family seeks donations to bring home photographer killed in Syria

Facing a whopping $20,000 bill to recover and transport the body of freelance photographer Ali Mustafa, his grieving family is appealing for donations, reported the Toronto Star March 13. Mustafa, a 29-year-old Toronto journalist and York University alumnus working in Syria, was killed by Syrian government airstrikes alongside 13 others in the rebel-held area of Aleppo on Sunday. Read full story.

York U grad behind ‘Emperor Visits the Hell’
A starkly rendered yet drily amusing satire that transplants three chapters of a novel written during the Ming Dynasty to contemporary China, Emperor Visits the Hell has garnered major prizes at festivals in Vancouver and Nanjing and earned a coveted berth in MoMA’s annual New Directors/New Films series in New York. Yet recognition for the work has been slower to arrive on the adopted home turf of its creator Luo Li, a Chinese-born and Hamilton-based filmmaker who’s one of the most distinctive talents to emerge from York University’s film program in recent years, reported the Toronto Star March 13. Read full story.

Kalanidhi festival lets audiences in Toronto and Mumbai share dance
As Kalanidhi Fine Arts of Canada’s Executive Director Rasesh Thakkar explains, it’s all part of a continuing project, initiated three years ago with the help of an Ontario Trillium Foundation grant, to make live performances accessible, even to people in remote locations, and to generate a wider understanding of how Indian dance is evolving globally. “It opens up such wonderful possibilities,” said the retired York University economics professor in the Toronto Star March 13. Read full story.

East Gwillimbury seeks partnership with Newmarket for university bid
With news that York University is interested in locating a satellite campus in York Region, East Gwillimbury’s leaders hope to submit a proposal partnering with another municipality, reported the East Gwillimbury Era March 13. Read full story.

What it’s like to be a nun in Toronto in 2014
If you want a potent example of people truly married to the job, forget Bay Street bigwigs and take a look at Toronto’s contemporary urban nuns, reported The Grid March 11. Witness a typical day at St. Bernard’s Residence. . . . Nuns drawn from Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas work onsite and in the broader community. One sister is a high-school teacher. Another volunteers each week at York University reading scripture and praying with students. Read full story.

Must-sees this week: March 13 to 19
“Fail Again, Fake Better” is a symposium organized by emerging curators and critics in York University’s Graduate Program in Art History, reported Canadian Art March 13. The symposium keynote featuring Iris Häussler takes place from 5 to 7pm on March 13 at Katzman Contemporary, while the rest of it runs March 14 from 8am to 6pm at the Goldfarb Centre for the Arts. Read full story.

York Region runners make good time
Six members of the York Region Runners Club fielded some impressive results after taking to the York University indoor track to compete at the Durham Legion Track Meet on Saturday, reported the Markham Economist & Sun March 13. Read full story.

Molecular-communications system broadcast messages using chemical rather than electrical signals
Since the early 1830s, communication has been dominated by electrical or electromagnetic signals. Now researchers at the York University in Toronto and the University of Warwick are developing a functioning molecular-communications system that can send and receive data just like electromagnetic signals, reported the World Industrial Reporter March 13. Read full story.

Black Creek neighbourhood deemed Toronto’s least livable
Under a new City of Toronto “equity score”, Black Creek is considered the least livable of Toronto’s 140 neighbourhoods, reported the Toronto Star March 13. . . . Toronto’s largest urban farm is located near Jane and Steeles: 2.8 hectares of farmland run by 80 staff and volunteers, many of whom live in the Black Creek area, and York University is nearby with students and staff who participate in research and local programming. Read full story.