Avan Jogia is an artist who has ventured his way into writing. His first published book Mixed Feelings, features poems and short stories regarding those with a mixed identity. The book features abstract illustrations, a unique typography, and vivid colours to bring attention to the significance of being a mixed individual within society. The book represents different identities within society by using imagery, poetry, and short prose.
Jogia used his book as a platform to voice the perspectives of those who are mixed. He does not focus solely on himself, but rather in a communal matter to demonstrate the importance and universality of this discussion. Before the writing process began, Jogia reached out to fans, asking them to message him their experiences of growing up with more than one cultural identity. He was open to embracing all perspectives on this topic, as he grew up with an Indian-British father and English-Irish mother. Mixed Feelings explores racial profiling, police brutality, religion, and other meaningful topics that should be openly learnt and understood.
The book was officially published on September 17, and Jogia announced a Mixed Feelings tour will be reaching ten cities. During his tour, Jogia made only one Canadian stop at Indigo Bay and Bloor in Toronto on September 28.
Hours before the Toronto show, Jogia announced on his Instagram story that this show is special and will have “some real family in the audience.” At the event ten seats were on reserve, for what seemed to be, relatives of the author.
Every seat in the room was filled with an excited reader, eagerly awaiting Jogia’s entrance. He was greeted with an applauding audience as he stepped onto the stage, accompanied with an instrumental audio curated by his brother. He opened the show with spoken word from his book—all with an instrumental audio. Throughout the event, Jogia shared excerpts from Mixed Feelings, while providing background information on the stories and the people they focus on. He also sang songs and personally interacted with the audience.
As Jogia read from his book, the melody of the music and his stage presence established a judgement free aura into the air. His soft voice and concerns about the topics he read, demonstrated his genuine nature.
As the reading portion of the event came to an end, Jogia shared a spoken word regarding his book process. One line in particular roused laughter from the audience. He stated, “to the people who supported me that wasn’t victorious…,” the term victorious is a pun to the television show, of the same name, he starred in. The subtle bad-mouth Jogia spurred was whimsical and witty.
Following the reading, Jogia had a book signing. This was a moment of personal connection with each reader. Fans lined up in groups, with sticky notes spelling out their names, eagerly awaiting their moment with Jogia. The Indigo workers were courteous and held the belongings of each fan as they spoke with the author, while taking photographs of their interaction, as he signed their copy of Mixed Feelings. During the signing, Jogia took it upon himself to have a short conversation with each person. He was friendly, approachable and had an interest in their remarks and stories about his book—as well as personal commentary. Jogia took his time with each fan and appreciated their support.
If you are looking for an open-minded read, pick up a copy of Avan Jogia’s Mixed Feelings. The poetry and stories will immerse you into the perspectives of others, living in this same world, with different journeys.