Video - Portraits 150 - Esi


Transcript of Portraits 150 - Esi

[Canada 150 logo]

[Text on screen: Portraits 150]

[A lighthouse stands at the end of a rocky spit of land. Geese fly over the sea.]

Esi Edugyan: "I had a fairly typical Canadian childhood, or Alberta childhood, in a lot of ways. I mean, every single summer we’d put on our cowboy boots and our, you know, had our Stetsons and we went down to the Calgary Stampede."

[A young woman with long, curly hair gazes at the sea from the top of a hill.]

Esi Edugyan: "I think it was fairly, sort of typically what you would do in Calgary at that time in the eighties."

[Text on screen: Esi Edugyan, writer, Canada 150 ambassador]

[Esi strikes a pose in a suburban street, in front of pink flowering trees.]

Esi Edugyan: "My name is Esi Edugyan and I'm a writer. Every Saturday morning, my father would take my brother, my sister and me to the local public library and we would stay for hours."

[She walks to the library and examines different books.]

Esi Edugyan: "I felt I went everywhere with these books and I could read about anything I wanted and it made the world feel a lot larger."

[She skims through a shelf, lightly touching the pages with her fingers.]

Esi Edugyan: "I had written a short story during my time at my graduate school."

[Standing in her kitchen, Esi reads a book featuring a blue cover.]

Esi Edugyan: "I went to the university library and was looking for histories of Alberta and came across this wonderful history."

[Books pages are flipping rapidly. Black and white photographs are displayed: a black family dressed in period costumes, a teenage girl posing next to a Ford T, three boys in suits standing in front of a fence, a baseball team, a woman lying in the grass.]

Esi Edugyan: "I opened it up and saw that there had been black settlers at the turn of the 20th century who had lived in Northern Alberta and tried — come to settle the land and was just utterly fascinated by this."

[Two birds fly over the sea. Pink flowers cover a tree's branches. Standing in front of a bay window, Esi admires the enchanting landscape.]

Esi Edugyan: "I’m always sort of looking for the hidden story or the thing that’s been forgotten. So in a sense, yeah, you are getting to know yourself and you are — you don’t always know what’s deep within yourself. This is a way of bringing these things to light."

[Waves hit the shore of a rocky beach.]

[Canada 150 logo]

[Text on screen:, #canada150]

Narrator: "A message from the Government of Canada."

[Canada wordmark]

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