Ep. 5: fin-xuan, Pree Rehal and Namitha Rathinappillai with Anna Shah Hoque

Episode 5 March 06, 2023 00:47:27
Ep. 5: fin-xuan, Pree Rehal and Namitha Rathinappillai with Anna Shah Hoque
To Be Continued: Troubling the Archive
Ep. 5: fin-xuan, Pree Rehal and Namitha Rathinappillai with Anna Shah Hoque

Mar 06 2023 | 00:47:27

/

Hosted By

Anna Shah Hoque

Show Notes

How does art make it possible to talk about the stories we inherit, the stories we contribute to and the stories we want to belong to?  

Episode 5 features fin-xuan, Pree Rehal, Namitha Rathinappillai and Anna Shah Hoque joining for a compelling discussion about the importance of art and stories in their respective practices.  

This conversation centres on friendships, developing a craft, lateral crossings and connections through creative practices and connecting intentionally to think about relationality, community and art-based storytelling.   

Credits: Season 3 graphic created by Hunter Dewache. Custom intro / outro sounds created by Bucko aka Chris Binkowski. Podcast editing is by fin-xuan. This season of To Be Continued: Troubling the Archive is generously funded by a Digital Now grant from the Canada Council for the Arts.  

Participants:  

Pree Rehal 

Pree (they/them) is an interdisciplinary artist and illustrator based in Toronto, of Panjabi descent. They teach zine and art making workshops. Their art style is inspired by their community, snacks and storybook illustrations. Book them for workshops and check out their work at prehal.com. Their shop has been featured in CBC, Xtra magazine and BlogTo. Their art has been featured in Luminato Arts Festival, Design TO festival and the Art Gallery of Ontario.  

Twitter: @preezilla  

Instagram: @stickymangos @preezilla  

Facebook: Facebook.com/StickyMangos  

Website: prehal.com 

fin-xuan 

fin-xuan is an interdisciplinary artist living on unceded Algonquin territory. As a second-generation settler, they are drawn to questioning and exploring ideas of embodiment, history, power and, ultimately, access to resources and life chances. They love collaboration, community organizing and learning through art and relationships. Currently, they act as a Studio facilitator and Artistic Program planner at BEING Studio, where they also work with podcasting through the series SPEAK. fin loves to paint, draw, sculpt and explore through materials, experiences and sharing. 

Instagram: @xuansshine 

Website: fxuanlee.com 

Namitha Rathinappillai 

Namitha Rathinappillai (she/they) is a disabled, queer, Tamil-Canadian spoken word poet who entered the poetry community in 2017. Now based in Toronto, she was the first female and youngest director of Ottawa’s Urban Legends Poetry Collective (ULPC).   They are a two-time Canadian Festival of Spoken Word (CFSW) team member with ULPC and published their first chapbook, titled Dirty Laundry, with Battleaxe Press in 2018. They won the RBC Youth Ottawa Spirit of the Capital Award for Arts and Culture in 2019. You can find more at namitharathinappillai.com. 

Anna Shah Hoque  

Anna Shah Hoque (she/they) is a South Asian-Persian bi-queer femme curator, producer, visual storyteller, educator and SSHRC Doctoral Fellow at the Institute of Feminist & Gender Studies, University of Ottawa. Her dissertation examines the relationship between decoloniality, visual arts and archive-making among Indigenous and South Asian artists and curators in “Canada.” She is the producer and host of To Be Continued: Troubling the Archive, a podcast series that shares stories, memories, and practices of Ottawa-based artists, community organizers and activists.  

View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

Speaker 1 00:00:12 Welcome to season three of to be continued troubling the Archive. In today's episode, Finn Sun, pre Rehaul and Na Ra and I going to talk about the importance of stories. We're going to think about the experiences of being and exploring and how art makes it possible for us to talk about the stories we've inherited, the stories we've chosen to keep, the stories we've chosen to reject, and the stories we've chosen to rework. Each of our own creative practices are informed by our desire to build relationships, to build communities with each other and for each other. Speaker 1 00:00:51 Hi everyone. Welcome to another episode of To Be Continued Troubling the Archive. My name is Anna Sha Hawk, preferred pronounced Shein. They, and I'm joining you in from <unk> territory. Um, we've got with us today as per usual, my dear friend and technical genius Finn son. Um, we've got rejoining us and today's theme, we're gonna talk about stories, we're gonna talk about, you know, how do we come to be the people that we are, what histories do we carry with us? What histories do we sh how we shed or, um, you know, our, our questioning. Really thinking about the experiences of being and becoming, exploring and thinking about connections and networking and relational building. Um, just a general sense of processes and make up each of our own creative practices. I'm going to turn the wheel over to Finn and we're gonna get rolling from there. Speaker 2 00:01:47 Thanks, Anna. My name is Finn and I am an artist who is interested in exploring relationships. So I am really interested in how relations of sharing, um, and accessing and understanding work. So I like to use art and my observations of the world around me as guiding tools. And yeah, I'm really excited for this conversation today because I am always really interested in hearing stories and sharing stories and hearing about processes that, that talk about the building aspects of becoming or of being existing, um, and of creating. Um, what is interesting, I think about this conversation is that we all kind of know bits of each other, um, in distant, distant forms, I would say, and like through connections like work or social media or art and, um, we've never been all together in conversation as a group. And so I think it's kind of an interesting way of, of coming together and sharing this space to, to talk about reflection and process. Yeah, so I'm interested in reflecting with you all and having the space to loosely talk about our perspectives and our unique experiences of doing, of becoming and of being creative and staying active in the various works we do pre Do you wanna cook first? Speaker 3 00:03:41 Yeah, for sure. I just wanna say that Finn, I appreciate your pacing so much. Like, I feel like just in the way that you talk about your arts practice is just, there's something very soothing about it. Like there's something very grounding and slow in a way that feels very like intimate and like you really care about it, you know? And that's not to say that like, people who talk fast don't care because I talk very fast. Um, I think sometimes ironically inaccessibly fast, um, and that doesn't mean I care less, but there's something about the way that you, you just kind of like say things that's just very, yeah, just very soothing. And it, I feel like that's what I really needed. I had like a weird, a weird morning of just like back to back zooms. And so yeah, there was something just I'm very grateful for for that. Speaker 3 00:04:35 My name is Pri, I use they them pronouns, and I'm interdisciplinary artist. I'm based in Trudy 13 to Toronto, and I'm a settler. My parents are originally from Punjab, um, which is a northern state in what's known as India, but I, I don't, um, identify as Indian or call myself Indian. And that's a very political and personal choice. I feel like. Um, I, I feel like sometimes my work is really about storytelling and then other times I really just wanna do do a thing or make a thing. You know? I feel like sometimes for me when I'm, when I'm trying different mediums, I actually just wanna try the thing and it, and, and it really doesn't go much deeper than that. I think the way that my, my brain works is just, um, I just kind of like ride the dopamine when it's, when it's there, and then I like go find the hit elsewhere. You know? It's like, so it might be like ceramics for three months and then nothing for six months, and then like a year of textile art. If that, if that kind of gives you an idea. Um, I try to archive everything I do because I do so many different things on Instagram. So if you wanna see a visual diary of all of my fixations, you can find all of that on Instagram. Speaker 3 00:05:59 I feel at odds between like being a content creator and being an artist because I've kind of fallen into this habit of sharing everything that I create in such a visual way. And I actually really enjoy documenting it. It's more that, you know, it's more when I get into my head where it's like, if I share this, it's actually not gonna get any likes, so then maybe I should make something else that will get more likes. And then that I think also plays into my background as being an artist that ves at zine fairs and markets where it's like I, I stopped writing personal zines because I would just have white women come up to my table and like, put things down or, you know, like have this look of just like disapproval. And I got so tired of people just like picking up my personal histories and like picking up my personal narratives and, and just kind of deciding that it wasn't worth $5, you know? Um, and I think that's also why there's a bit of like, I feel like a little bit of a barrier between me and the art that I make now and, and just wanting to like, explore and experiment as opposed to telling, telling those stories. But yeah. Um, I can maybe pass it over. Speaker 1 00:07:12 So my name's Anna Sha Hawk, um, and I am Bengali and Persian. Um, my family, like, I actually came to Canada as a political refugee when I was quite young. Um, for me, my arts practices, and it's funny, Finn and I were talking about this at the beginning when we hadn't hit record, but we were both talking about like, the title of artist and what does it mean, you know, uh, I frequently not only does my imposter syndrome like perk up so strongly, um, I've, you know, my entry point into a creative practice has been quite unconventional. Um, and I think of it as like, my mom frequently says, like, you know, when a blessing presents itself in front of you, you say yes to it and everything else sort of falls in alignment with it. And so my, uh, while, you know, eight year old me wanted to be a curator, I didn't really know what life would happen along the way that would take me away from it. Speaker 1 00:08:05 And then somewhere along the way it came back into my life. And so I have a curatorial practice. I have been very fortunate to work with really rad artists, activists, and community organizers through this podcast series. Um, I'm dabbling in a little bit of, uh, of filmmaking right now. By dabble, I mean, I really wanna try it. We'll see how it goes because again, unconventional untrained, uh, looking to everyone around me to, to like steer me in the right direction. Um, and I play a lot on like being able to use the visual to tell stories. So part and parcel of that, um, Priya as you're talking about, you know, Instagram is where you do your archiving business. For me, Insta storying is where I like, tend to my creative, uh, energy at the everyday level. So it's become a really huge entry point into how, you know, um, while I do the pragmatic bits and pieces of life, I get to be really creative and out there. Speaker 1 00:09:03 And also just very much in the mundane, like celebrating the mundane is what I love. Um, and archiving, I mean, I don't even know where to pull the thread on that one. I, I'm doing my PhD right now and it's really thinking about how, you know, indigenous, black and POC folks use art to archive, uh, ar archive as practice, really. Um, so all of this sort of intersects and overlaps in my creative practice. So I never really know how to be like, I'm an artist <laugh>. I'm like, I don't know if I have, if I can wear the, the ID card for that one. But, you know, I'm slowly trying to make my journey into owning that a bit more honestly, uh, while feeling very nervous because I'm waiting for like, I'm not sure the art police to come and revoke my artist status. <laugh> <laugh>. Yeah. So that's me in a nutshell. Speaker 4 00:09:53 Yeah, I really relate to that. I was like thinking of how to, how to introduce myself and you know, I, I often introduce myself as, um, a poet, a workshop facilitator, community organizer. But I think especially, um, when art is not my, my main practice or, you know, my academic background or my, um, prominent professional background, I have a lot of imposter syndrome or guilt or shame for taking on those labels. Um, because I often feel like I'm not as committed as other artists into that practice, which I mean, like, I think comes from a number of, of different reasons. I think that, you know, there is a lot of generational, like, um, child of immigrants mindset of, you know, art should be, you know, kind of on the back burner, something more pragmatic should be at the forefront. Um, so my academic background, um, was never really art related. Speaker 4 00:11:01 I mean, it, it is something I'm incredibly passionate about. A lot of my, um, academic background is in like sociology. It's in studies about like race and ethnicity and power and privilege and, and these things that do show up in my art. Um, but yeah, I, I do call myself a poet. It is something that, you know, I'm so grateful is a part of my life. It's something I'm able to, you know, now make money off of now be able to, you know, say is is part of my income. Um, but yeah, I, I am a poet, uh, workshop facilitator, community organizer, um, yeah, but always still learning and still navigating. Speaker 1 00:11:42 Yeah, it's a whole, it's a whole thing, right? I feel like it's almost like the entry point conversation of like queerness, uh, which again, brown in diaspora and queerness, like, there's a bit bit of like a, there's just a lot of things bouncing against each other and especially when like the, what's it called, the dominant sort of ways of understanding our ourselves. It's like your community comes first or the language comes first. And I didn't grow up in community, like much of the reflections in North America for me were very white. And in fact, for the longest time I couldn't see my brownness and I was working really hard to hide it because I wanted so desperately to fit in. So there was like, even the, the path and journey to language and to thinking about the histories that I've inherited that like, I was disconnected even while in South Asia cuz I went to an English school. Like I'm a generation of two partitions and, you know, families who work for the British tobacco company, there was a lot of like rah, you know, Anglo history and I knew nothing else. And so even in, in, in like the quote unquote homeland, there was a disconnect. You know, and again, it brings up this conversation of like inside who you want to claim and how you want to be claimed, and then the outside world in so many different ways that make it feel so impossible to exist the way we are. Speaker 3 00:13:07 I think it's really interesting that you talk about like, I don't know how you worded it, but like learning that you are brown. Um, yeah, I definitely, I definitely did not realize I was brown until much later in life. Like I was, um, I was born and raised in Jo Jae in Montreal and what's known as Montreal. And I went to school with like all like, like all, all white and or, um, and Palestinian and, and, and just like, like white Jewish kids as well. And I just remember, I remember being like really frustrated and just like angry a lot. And a lot of that came from like a number of different places, but definitely like, I was upset that I didn't look the same as everyone else, but I don't think I realized that it was because of my skin color. Like, I think I was more mad that like my mom didn't let me cut my hair, you know? Speaker 3 00:14:18 I think I was, and I was mad that like, I had to wear pants when like the other girls got the walled skirts and I was like, my wear pleaded skirts. I wish I could wear pants. And now here I am like, like very budge and it's, it's just kind of funny. But yeah. And then I think, I think there was this, this period when I was like eight or nine years old when I was watching, like my, my, my parents always watched Bollywood movies and I think I remember looking in the mirror and realizing that like, oh, like I'm not ugly. I'm actually really pretty in the goil kind of way, not in the like Britney Spears kind of way. And the white kids at school don't know that and that's okay. Like I can actually just be like pretty at home and in my room and like, it's okay that they don't know that, you know, and like as a kid, like really coming to terms of like, you know, you don't know what Eurocentric standards mean and what the, IM like, you obviously know the impact of it, but you, like, we didn't have the language then, you know, and we didn't have Instagram and we didn't have Tumblr, or actually maybe y'all did, I didn't <laugh>. Speaker 3 00:15:34 And um, yeah. And then, you know, fast forward, like I'm in my late teens, early twenties and then like, I remember seeing that quote that was like, you know, I think it was like walk into a room, like with the confidence and audacity of like a six foot tall white man. And I know that that was a joke. Like, I know it was a joke and I know it was a meme, but like, I'm so autistic that I was like, I'm actually gonna take this on. Like, I'm actually like, this is how I'm going to navigate the world. And that's definitely gotten me into some trouble for sure. Like I can be very abrasive sometimes. Um, and that's definitely like its own thing that I'm working on with my therapist, I promise. But like really being like, I'm white, no, actually I'm brown. Oh, actually I'm brown, but I need to pretend like I'm white. Speaker 3 00:16:30 Okay. No, but we actually hate white people. So like, just like that constant negotiation of like, like what, like, like what we are, how we're being perceived and you know, like my Instagram name is sticky mangoes. I'm not trying to go down like the diaspora path of like, there's mango juice in my veins and I'm too wrong for this and not queer enough for that. But like, it is real, you know, like, like there is something very, very warm and cozy about just sitting with even like one or two other people that are also just like, you know, come from blended families and complicated histories and understand what, you know, causing mutual harm does to a family and like really understand that that like, like how difficult it is to maintain relationships and that look like you and you all have one, you all have a stick and poke. Like there's just, there's something about that like very right tag brown queer kinship that's like really nice, um, and is really difficult to come across. So it's like, it's very cute that, that we're having this conversation together today. I'm like really excited about it. Speaker 1 00:18:02 I mean, I love a good mango. So <laugh> throwing mangoes away anytime soon, <laugh>, I could like bathe and mango juice all the time. That'd be fantastic. Speaker 2 00:18:19 Now that's the connections that we're bringing up, like seeing ourselves in our spaces and like having that representation and also support available in our spaces so that we can grow and, and reflect on our engagements as artists, as people is so important. And it's not, I feel like it's not like often talked about. And so I am reminded of like first meeting pre for example, um, we were both like working towards this project. I remember it was a time when I turned to this like urge to find people that I might be able to relate to or other queer and trans people. And so this project also where I got into storytelling and podcasting and spending time with developing and sharing stories. I feel like when I think about this time and some of the conversations that, that were happening, it reminds me a lot about, um, like the, just the feeling of discomfort and not knowing how to engage with the new community that I feel like I should be able to connect to. But there's like a lot of little pieces that, that obviously made it challenging. And so being able to reflect on that discomfort of like being involved in this type of work and process, it reminds me of why I think it's so important to like, just take your time processing your, your, your choices and your, the spaces that you're in. Does anyone want to share about some of those, like connecting stories of like how you have crossed paths with each other and why you felt comfortable or compelled to join the conversation today? Speaker 1 00:20:11 I almost want to turn the mic back to you, Finn, and then be like, tell me about the origin stories that you have in mind of each of us. Speaker 2 00:20:20 I feel like with all of you, it's been like this experience of almost like, not not intentionally knowing or touring, but finding like mutual relationships or mutual people that that would bring us in the same space. It was just a really, like hard time. I feel like reflecting on why things didn't quite feel right in the spaces that I was in or like doing the things I was doing and addressing like the disconnection that I had, I, I almost feel like it was a time where my own creative, like energy and motivation was out like it that I could not create, I could not share anymore because of my experiences creating and sharing in spaces that it didn't feel like things were, things were doing anything for myself or others. And, um, like I remember once pri and I were talking about like internalization and things that we have maybe grown up learning and how we processed that, that unlearning step afterwards and they had mentioned something like, you cannot heal in the places that make you sick. Speaker 2 00:21:33 And so this is something that like I have always remembered and, and honestly like carry with me almost every day. And I feel like just thinking about that kind of like that, that moment, that possibility and how it's so special is like why I am, I'm attempting to kind of create this episode today and structure this, this place for conversation. Yeah. You know, like I've crossed paths with pre again through things like, like other work projects. Like Namita is also someone who I feel like through mutual friends we, we just knew each other, but we didn't know each other until those cross paths were there. And so like, I just, um, yeah, I really appreciate having this, this, this opportunity to come together and, and really like talk about meeting and I don't know, I kind of feel like I'm just rambling, but feeling connected is a, it's like a big and vague idea that's hard to explain, but when connection is felt or it's seen or understood in relation to people, it's always so special. And so I just try to cherish the reflections and the relationships. Yeah. I feel so lucky to be here with all of you and you know, like I feel like with all of you, I found such fun times and also growth and so that's kind of like my, my thoughts on, on some of your origin points. Speaker 1 00:23:03 I mean, Sam, you were my, um, you were my very sort of, you were part of a really big memory for me. It was the first time being involved in a curatorial capacity. Um, and I don't know if you remember this, but I remember this a lot. Um, it's how, um, it's how Karara and I met, it's how you and I met and it was through the trans genre project. Um, and up until that moment I hadn't been in a space where, um, I could actively or openly talk about, uh, the different ways I function in the world that I, i it's like, what's it called? My method to my madness. I never really talked openly about fibromyalgia. And so for me, like our origin story of that moment of like being in these sort of, um, I think we did like silk screening workshops, the actual installation, um, at All Saints venue spot, like all of it were such important and growing I moments for me because it let me feel normal for a change. Speaker 1 00:24:07 Like where everyone c were openly talking about what they could bring to the table, what their capacities and limits were. And I found it mind blowing. I found it like, oh wow. Like I don't have to hide. I don't have to, you know, mask where I'm at and be like, actually I'm, my body is not in a good space today. I'm here, but I might not be able to, to lift the thing or participate in conversation as actively because I'm battling things on the inside, you know? Um, so I think there's just, I, I appreciate and, and really love what this conversation space allows us and affords us to be able to be vulnerable without thinking about like, um, about an a specific audience. You know, like I feel like we, um, in each of our practices, I, I'm a I'm a media person, so like, I'm always like, who's the audience? Speaker 1 00:25:01 And you know, pri as you're talking about like zines and someone coming and taking your most vulnerable of stories and, and resisting at times too, and not even thinking about like the labor and the emotional effort that goes into producing something that's so intimate and vulnerable, and yet it becomes like this product to consume, which then informs how you continue your arts practice. And I think in, in so many sort of big moments that from the outside to someone might not come off as a big moment, but in fact it's huge. It's fundamentally reshaping yourself. Um, is the question of, you know, who is it that we do the thing that we're doing, you know, and how, how much it is is an is it a way for us to express ourselves because art makes it possible. Like very, like every iteration of art makes it possible for us to negotiate into and burrow away into the most intimate of ourselves. Speaker 1 00:25:56 And sometimes in telling these really deeply sacred truths that we experience, you find that others feel something alongside with you. Like there's a witnessing that happens, there's a companionship that happens, there's a, there's a learning that happens on both sides of the equation. And I think like all of the ways that community comes into that conversation, like the big idea this metaphorical community, but also the literally like the small pockets of community, um, that are made possible. So in all of these sort of 10, like tangible and int intangible ways, I love how the strings are connected. The threads make us connected with the, I guess guess I put the possibility for imagining more for the future, right? Like my present already feels nice and lush and overflowing, but it makes me, it, it makes me think of joy and hope for the future, uh, in a way that I couldn't have fathom for teen me or me in my twenties to have thought possible, you know? Speaker 4 00:27:04 Yeah, I think so. Yeah. I think it's interesting thinking about community, especially in terms of, um, finding a place for ourself and like all of ourselves to be, you know, witnessed as one. And I think a lot about how even earlier in this conversation talking about, you know, those moments, we became aware of certain parts of our identity and like what that looks like when it's, you know, almost like prematurely brought out by like external factors. Like I was very aware of my brownness from like the first grade and I remem and like, I had like created and internalized these truths or supposed truths about myself based on how I felt like people were treating me. Like I, this is like, I don't know, an anecdotal thing that I think I come back to a lot was that my best friend when I was a kid was white and you know, people in my class had crushes on her. Speaker 4 00:28:16 And I came to the conclusion through like no real indication, like verbal indication from anyone that people had a crush on her because she was white. And that was the reason that people didn't like me and this was the truth that like wasn't, and I say truth obviously, like, you know, generally, like, this is obviously not an objective truth, but it was a truth that I came to terms with, um, in a way that felt really fragmented. Like I think throughout my life I've noticed this pattern of learning and unlearning and like reconstructing notions of parts of my identity in like a very, um, one by one like step by step kind of way. Like I think that, you know, I unpacked and unlearned a lot about my racialized identity and then I unpack and learned a lot about like my identity as a woman and then about like my identity as a queer person. Speaker 4 00:29:14 And like, I think that it is so interesting to think about community as like a space where again, like all of these parts of you are, are accepted as one. And I, I think a lot about that in terms of the ways in which I find community and, and how finding community at different points in my life where I've been, you know, unpacking those different parts of my identity, like follow a certain pottery. Um, and obviously I'm grateful for, for all the different means. I've been able to find, um, you know, those spaces of, of acceptance and, and being embraced for who I am. But yeah, I, I don't know, I think it's so interesting to think about yeah, how that shapes our perceptions of self and what it means to, to find those places and those people who, you know, both embrace who you are, but also teaching so much more about yourself and, and push you to those, um, almost like next levels of ourselves and, and how we can um, I don't know, be more authentic to ourselves, embrace ourselves more deeply. Yeah, I don't know, I'm just, it's just like really interesting to reflect on. Yeah. Speaker 3 00:30:35 Yeah. I wanna go back to a few things. Um, Finn you were mentioning one of the things that you remembered from a conversation that we had. And so I have been, I'd been seeing this, um, trans mask, indigenous therapist for the last, I wanna say maybe like almost two years. And it felt like we had like outgrown the, the therapist client relationship. We had co like re like I realized that I actually do want and need to do more trauma work. Like I thought that I was beyond that. I thought that I was in the like, you know, being a better person state of situation, like work, just like self-improvement things. So then I realized like, no, I actually do still have things coming up that I thought were like very much resolved or, you know, alleviated. And so they were like, oh, like I don't specialize in trauma things. Speaker 3 00:31:34 And I was like, okay, like I'll go find another therapist. So I, I had my first session this morning with a new therapist and um, and like one of the things I was, I was bringing up to her as well was like that exact thing of like, you just can't, you can't get better in the same places that made you sick. And it's like, yeah, I think it's, I think especially for like brown and black kids, like when there's like certain kinds of environments that we're, we're used to and, and we're raised and nurtured within, it's like, I I, it's really complicated. It's, it's not like white kids where you can just leave or you can just come out or you can just like bring your partner home or like whatever it is, you know, like, I mean there's definitely like a, an access and resource piece there that really enables that. Speaker 3 00:32:26 And I feel like that's just like, that's just a reality that less melanated to us lgbtq plus folks will just like not know, you know, like, like while I was freelancing and jobs and stuff, I was facilitating to us L G B LGBTQ Q workshops for like kids, like in schools and it was kind of like awareness workshops. And sometimes like teachers would ask us to come because they knew there was like, or there was like an outed kid or there was a kid that was like either out or outed in the class and whatever. A lot of these schools were like in Brampton in like a suburb that I grew up in, um, that has like, it's in peel that has like a lot of, a lot, a lot of brown kids, like definitely more black kids than white kids. Um, and just really having to be like, I didn't get to come out and then get like a birthday cake, you know, like it wasn't like you're gay, we love you, you know, and I really relate to Namita what you said about that like very compartmentalized, step by step, like coming into your identities cuz it really like, one, you never stop coming out, right? Speaker 3 00:33:30 Like you never stop coming out as queer. You never stop coming out as trans or gender fluid or non-binary. But I feel like you also never stop coming out as disabled. You know, like whether or not I have my cane like, like I'll have to like, explain things to whether it's like new dates or new friends or to new community members or new coworkers or colleagues or contacts or whatever it is. It's just like, why can't you just do the things? Or like, why can't we just go to a restaurant and do indoor dining? Like this constant like, kind of like emotional labor that just like isn't accounted for anywhere. Yeah. I think Anna, you mentioned that like, I'm really new to you and, and likewise, but also it's like how, how haven't we crossed paths? Like I feel like you were talking about your experience of fibromyalgia and I'm just like, I feel like there's, I feel fibromyalgia is like such a, is is one of those things that it's just like, it's it's, it's treated like a joke because it tends to be a, like a chronic illness that a lot of women have. Speaker 3 00:34:34 I remember I had like the one white person I dated, his mom had fibromyalgia and I remember him being like, I was like, what's fibromyalgia? Not knowing I have fibromyalgia. I was like, what's fibromyalgia? And he was just like, oh, like she gets x, y, Z symptoms. It's like a fake thing. She like meeks it up, she like claims she needs to go to hot places in the winter and like all this stuff. And like that's something that always sticks with me. Cuz I feel like even just stock talking to like neurologists or rheumatologists and stuff, like as someone who also has fibro, it's just like, I always think about, I always think about that X and like, I feel like that's how they are listening to me and that's how they're talking to me, you know? And I feel like that's like, that's why when, I mean like when you're in the company of even like one or two, are there folks that just like really get that piece where they're like, they're also Crip spoony folks. Speaker 3 00:35:20 They're also, you know, they understand like, like they're also racialized in a particular way. Like we are the kind of racialized folks that like folks don't want. And obviously like there's still like a model minority piece and like, you know, there is, um, the fact that like a lot of brown folks are like extremely, extremely anti-black and it's like we are inherently anti-black by like being brown, you know? And like there's, there's a lot there as well. But I think that, I think there's just something really rare and really special about being able to kind of just like have those lived experiences and just like that access intimacy from being like, okay, we don't have to actually keep coming out in this one instance. You know, like we don't have to keep sharing like, like what these things are or like tell you definitions or like send you resource links and things like that. Speaker 3 00:36:11 So I'm just like, yeah, very grateful for that. And in terms of just like the threads of how we know each other, it's so funny. Like I, I met Nita's current partner at the same time that I met Finn like the four or five years ago. And then Nita and I, I'm not sure how we originally crossed paths, but I feel like it was definitely through the internet. We haven't met in person yet. Um, I think was through Crip, which is like the zine project that I curate and coordinate. Um, it's a collaborative zine that features, uh, racialized and disabled and to us lgbtq plus, uh, artists, so folks who belong to all three of those communities. Um, because obviously that's like a, a really important thing to me in my work and the kind of people that I wanna work with. Um, and it's a zine that kind of showcases like one piece of art from, um, like usually 10 of those artists. And then, um, each person gets paid for their submissions. Speaker 3 00:37:17 One of the things that's really difficult about someone that's like in ex-academic, like one of the things that took me from academia into the arts, which I feel like is like, it's like I feel like it's, if you're not in academia and you're not in the arts, it probably sounds really weird, but I moved from academia to the arts because of how much unpaid labor was required of me in the academy. You know, like there was other factors in it too, but like I can sustain myself and like have healthier relationships and more sleep and less mental breakdowns being an artist. Like, um, I was doing art full-time for like three years and like freelancing, I'm, I have a job now, like I work at a non-profit again now. And that just came from me realizing that like, I was constantly thinking it, it has to be like meaningful work. And so going back into the non-profit world was like a whole separate thing. Um, but I am still an artist. I'm, I'm also like, I do a lot of arts administration work and I work in communications and my day job at a non-profit and I, I do really, really love it. I'll throw the ball back to folks. Speaker 1 00:38:24 I mean, I'm laughing and crying because I'm in the stew of the academic world while also sustaining a creative practice. And, um, uh, I'm pausing and reflecting on your conversation about like the inherent sort of precarity that's tied to being in the academic space and what that looks like from a semester to semester. Like my, my association with time is based on semester, that's how I see the year map out. I'm thinking about what contract to apply for. I'm thinking about, oh, my shirk funding's run out, you know, what's tuition gonna look like for me the next year. Um, there's a lot of those conversations. And then there's the other sort of big one that I'm still sort of sitting with Priya as you're talking about fibromyalgia, like for the, for the longest time. And I think even it, it doesn't go away. The outing never stops, especially if how your disability shows up is not how majority of folks understand what a disabled body is and what limits capacities, and also, uh, uh, possibilities, uh, are tied to, to being in a body that like can show up in very different ways and that that's not necessarily a bad thing. Speaker 1 00:39:43 Um, but like the, the, the tying of like fibro and the constant like scrutiny. Um, and so like, and then I think about like someone like, uh, Haida Musa who we had, um, and a couple of seasons, Agoda is a, you know, a queer DJ artist scholar, and their work was all around like invisible diseases, especially about how black and brown bodies experience invisible diseases. Like, you know, we know what it feels like to be in our bodies, yet the medical institutions and spaces and sort of general society overall makes you dot your own varied lived experience, you know, to the point where you now we have language like gaslighting, you know, but like, it makes you question your own experience and connection to reality. And so then where it's, it's, it's so incredibly important to be in spaces where the explanation doesn't need to be there, but to be like, my body is here in this specific way and that's, that's who I am. Speaker 1 00:40:41 And it's not up for debate, it's not up for scrutiny, it's not up for questioning, you know, any and all of those. And I think there's something really, really important specifically for like indigenous black and POC folks to be in conversation with each other across really disparate genealogies, right? Like we have different associations to the state. There's a whole complexity of model minorityness that for a lot of racialized immigrants who are trying to evade or escape other geographies of political and social tensions, you know, will come in the sense of like erasing away. There's an amnestic aspect of like wanting to forget while also wanting to be integrated. And so that doesn't really leave a whole lot of room for being like, okay, so what does an anti-racist practice look like, like for you at the individual, at the community level. So I think it's, it's so important then for us to be in these conversations because it really pauses and makes us think about, well, what, what does this look like at the, at the individual, at the local? Speaker 1 00:41:49 And then broad more broadly speaking, like there's the meta stuff, the theoretical PCI philosophizing stuff, and then there's just like, how do we make connections with each other? And like, you know, um, so much of that, uh, is like interwoven but only interwoven with intention. Like, you know, Finn coming and bringing this all four of us together in conversation makes it possible to put these things in dialogue with each other. Right. And I, and that's, that's something super, um, super important and productive. Um, Finn, I'm gonna ask, uh, if there's other sort of, you know, thoughts that you wanted to, to raise or for us to, to pick up. Speaker 2 00:42:34 I think just having like some closing thoughts would be good. I mean, I feel like we all talked about a lot of things and, and will carry a lot of these things with us and keep thinking about them, and that's really like what I wanted to, what I wanted to host in this space and my closing thoughts. I mean, I am thinking a lot about how, yeah, a lot of the process of like understanding and learning more about myself has been through having these moments of sharing and, and listening also. Um, so yeah, I'm really glad that we could all do this today. And I think those are all of my closing thoughts. Speaker 1 00:43:16 I love what this podcast does is that it makes me appreciate my friendships that I have and then make me eager to build new relationships. Like just, you know, like both of both you and Amita coming into my sphere makes me eager to be like, what could a future continuation look like? You know? Um, the podcast for me is like this ephemeral, but also really important oral archive that's happening, you know, so that's like the, that's, that's one thing, but the other element of, it's just like relationality, it opens up, I think of like portals and I, I'm in the head space of portals and universes and worlds colliding in a good way. Not worlds colliding in a violent way, but like really a welcoming collision. Um, and so I <laugh> I don't know if that's, if that can be a thing, but I'm gonna leave it there as a welcome collision. Um, and it makes me, I think I I I'm leaving this episode, which is a, a lot of energy and hope for more. Speaker 4 00:44:18 I think I feel similarly. Like, I think, again, like, I think this whole idea of like, you know, feeling like I I exist in a different body or, or image in certain spaces rather than others. I think I'm like so grateful for the ways that I'm able to meet people who show up as all parts of themselves and, and have this like incredibly nuanced like beautiful full lives with like passions and, and fears and, and like, I don't know, I think I feel really grateful for those forms of connection. I think especially through covid where it feels like finding, finding new people to connect with feels like not feels like a very, very infrequent, um, occurrence. So yeah. Always, always down to make Rod friends. Speaker 3 00:45:13 Yeah, I'm, I'm just feeling really grateful. I feel like, I feel like I could continue this conversation for like 12 hours, were it not with the constraints of time. Yeah. I would love to just see all more and, and like that continuation piece that Anna said, um, I would just like love to do this again in, in different capacities or however, however we can. I just really like y'all. Speaker 1 00:45:42 There's no heart emojis to put on Zencaster <laugh> <laugh>. Um, I guess this is it. And I just wanted to say thanks to everyone. I love Finn for, you know, putting us all together. I mean, I love Finn period, so Speaker 4 00:46:01 I was just about to say I let Finn full stop. Speaker 1 00:46:04 Um, and it's just really nice to, you know, Finn does all the technical know-how of this, of this show, this series and, uh, it's only possible because of our collaboration. And so I'm so thankful and appreciative. And to be honest, just really happy to hear Finn say all really rad and beautiful things because, uh, you know, when fin talks, Finn says some really amazing things, otherwise, Finn is there taking it all in and I can see them, I can see in their eyes that there's a lot to be spilled. So it's nice to have this filling happen, uh, within, within this sort of an environment as well. It's been a pleasure. Speaker 3 00:46:42 New podcast. Logan is Finn for the win Speaker 1 00:46:44 <laugh> Speaker 5 00:46:49 To be continued troubling. The Archive is hosted and produced by Anna Shaw Hawk. Technical support for the show comes through from Finn's son. A major thanks goes to Hunter Dee for their wonderful work in creating the logo for the series. The Intro and Outdoor Commission works by artist Chris Bukowski. The show would not be possible without the support of Q Ag and the Canada Council for the Arts Digital Now Grant.

Other Episodes

Episode 1

September 24, 2020 00:34:38
Episode Cover

Ep. 1: Curators Anna Shah Hoque and Cara Tierney Introduce "To Be Continued"

Welcome to “To Be Continued: A Stonecroft Symposium Podcast”!  In this inaugural episode, go behind the scenes with curators Anna Shah Hoque and Cara...

Listen

Episode 1

January 09, 2023 00:52:37
Episode Cover

Ep. 1: Anna Shah Hoque and Jade Sullivan

Welcome to a new season of To Be Continued: Troubling the Archive! We kick off this season with a conversation between host Anna Shah...

Listen

Episode 0

April 19, 2021 00:52:45
Episode Cover

Ep. 9: Taib Boyce and Tyler Boyce

Welcome to Episode 9 of “To Be Continued: A Stonecroft Symposium Podcast”!  In this episode, Anna Shah Hoque chats with co-collaborators, siblings and organizers...

Listen