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Winners & Finalists

Finalist! 2013 Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize

Undesirables:
by Ali Kazimi
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre

Undesirables:

In May 1914, the Komagata Maru, a ship carrying 376 immigrants from British India, was turned away when it tried to land in Vancouver harbour. Many of the men on board, veterans of the British Indian Army, believed it was their right to settle anywhere in the empire they had fought to defend. They were wrong. Enforcing the “continuous journey” regulation, immigration boats surrounded the ship a half-mile off shore, making the passengers virtual prisoners. Thus began a dramatic stand-off that would escalate over the next two months, becoming one of the most infamous events in Canadian history. Award-winning filmmaker Ali Kazimi creates a historical framework that allows readers to view events through the eyes of earlier South Asian migrants to Vancouver, authorities of the Dominion of Canada, and imperial officials in Britain and India. Ali Kazimi is a Toronto-based filmmaker. Born and raised in India, he came to Canada in 1983. Kazimi is an associate professor in the Department of Film at York University.