We Were Once People: A Conversation about Displacement and Belonging

Join d.talks + Esker writer-in-residence Sue-Shane Tsomondo for a conversation event.


As part of Sue-Shane Tsomondo’s response to the exhibition RELATIONS: Diapsora and Painting, Sue-Shane Tsomondo has invited fellow African artists JustMoe and Mpoe Mogale to discuss the loss of language and voice.

This topic is loosely inspired by a quote from NoViolet Bulwayo’s debut novel We Need New Names, “Because we were not in our country, we could not use our own languages, and so when we spoke our voices came out bruised.”



Sue-Shane Tsomondo is a poet, educator, book curator and the creator of Sue’s Stokvel, a Calgary-based literary arts platform. Sue’s Stokvel highlights the work of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) writers. She has previously performed for Woolfs’ Voices and Single Onion. In 2020, Sue-Shane appeared on the cover of the Calgary Journal. Sue-Shane has also been featured in Arts CommonsAvenue Magazine, The Calgarian podcastIn Rehearsal podcast and the Artful Conversations podcast. In 2021, Sue-Shane (Sue’s Stokvel) partnered with Humainologie to create The Khumbul’ekhaya project + workshop for Empathy Week. Sue-Shane is a WriteON 2019 alum.



Mohamed Ahmed (Just Moe) is a multidisciplinary artist from Sudan and developed on the Southside of Edmonton, in Millwoods. A recent graduate of the acting program at the National Theatre School of Canada and a musician under the name Just Moe. Authenticity is a main force of his work, and he hopes to share himself as authentically as possible with the world.




Mpoe Mogale reigns from Lebowakgomo, South Africa and is based Moh-kíns-tsis, in the colonial state of Canada. In the past year, they committed to honouring their talent and love for dance by pursuing it full-time. Alongside being an Arts Administrator for Swallow-a-Bicycle Theatre, Mpoe currently teaches various dance styles, and trains with Decidedly Jazz Dance’s Professional Training Program and Woezo Africa Music & Dance Theatre’s Company.

One of the things Mpoe enjoys is bringing together Black artists to present multidisciplinary works that explore Black life in Canada. The result of this includes projects such as What (Black) Life Requires (produced by Mile Zero Dance and Azimuth Theatre) and Reclaiming Black Dance (produced by Black Arts Matter). Mpoe has grown weary of Black pain being a spectacle, and as a result, their artistic imaginations in the past year have centred on the brilliance and joy that foreground the lives of Black folks.


Presented in partnership with d.talks.

October 8th, 2021 at 7-8pm

Registration will open on September 22, 2021 at 11:00 am