This is a roundup of some of our most recent interviews and the short bits that we found most brilliant and thought-provoking. These gems are usually hidden deep in our long-form interviews and this format gives you a chance to see them along with visual profiles. Enjoy!
Mimi Thi Nguyen:
“How do we recognize evidence of being a person under neoliberal capital? Do you exist in the absence of a selfie, or a tweet?… These are the conditions under which we find ourselves complicit—and even locate pleasure—in our surveillance, and in surveying others, and upon which access to capital, love and other forms of sociality increasingly depend… Is community the consequence of success on the market?”
“A feminist future is inextricably linked to holding the past of queer and trans people of color, people who have been exiled out of feminist movements and spaces…We actually can’t do that work of imagining unless we do the invitations of those lives.”
“[Radical knowledge production is] not only… about subjectivity, but [also] about questioning the limits of the subject. Take the Cree language, for example, where when one is speaking they are not addressing a single person, but rather anything animate in one’s presence… What would it mean to start from every animate site, and not just the human one?”
“We can talk… all day long… about how violence gets socially constructed, but eventually we hit a brick wall. That brick wall is our bodies–that some bodies cannot change and some things are just real, like chronic pain. Similarly, with the environment… there’s only so much fossil fuel we can pull out of the ground… We’re not good at [confronting our limitations] in this rugged individualistic culture of ‘live your own future’ and ‘manifest your destiny.’ [That’s why] there’s so much usefulness in folks who have been living in marginalized and oppressed identities. We already have been living within limits.”
“One thing is very clear, and it’s that I wouldn’t have made this movie as a black man. As a black woman, it was easier because the neo-Nazis weren’t so afraid of me… Now since I made this movie about identity and racism, all of this makes sense. That’s more important to me than fighting only as a woman: finding the things that harmed me and giving them sense. If they make sense, then you don’t suffer… and it gives me peace.”
Regina Larre Campuzno (Maladama):
“We want to claim ownership of our skills and talents and start breaking the stereotype of the mystical and extraordinary female and trans musician: they are people that have worked hard, played a lot, practiced a lot, and believed in themselves enough to take really big chances. We should all have that kind of confidence in our own vision.”
“Gay rights are so palatable because as they’ve been expressed–cleaved from race, class, citizenship, gender and other intersections–it’s largely been a politics of recognition rather than redistribution. As queer activists we should actually be fighting for the abolition of the queer… If queer is really going to be significant it needs to be about unhinging our solidarity politics away from people who are just like us. It’s about expanding the field of where we deposit our empathy to become even more vast.”
“Across time and space I’ve been nerdy, awkward, shy, anxious, and sad. I’m not opening with this in an attempt to be post-race, post-gender, etc. [But] to a certain degree, challenging systems of power… also involves coming to the revolution with all our strangeness and loneliness.”
Fabulous illustrations by Kristine Mar.