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Welcome to Part II of Dalit Feminist Futures - I'm so glad you're here!
While there may not be a guest expert featured in this edition, it is laden with the learnings, teachings, ideas, voices, art and rich imaginations of so so many experts.
Structurally, this episode is MY top-ten hits from scholar Gowri Vijayakumar's commentary and positioning of Italian feminist scholar Leopoldina Fortunanti's text The Arcane of Reproduction. Vijayakumar's essay “There Was An Uproar”: Reading The Arcane of Reproduction Through Sex Work in India" is a bright, brilliant reading that eviscerates bad arguments and poor faith analogies usually employed in the mainstream conversation surrounding sex workers.
I highly encourage everyone to read it for themselves, but meanwhile, I've done my best to frame it in the immediate context of everything going on WHILE I was writing the episode - namely, the repeal of the Farm Bills, all the science fiction I was reading throughout the summer and the conversations I was having with my friends.
Speaking of friends, I'd also like to thank Priyanka Paul for letting me read out their truly eviscerating poem, and for being my friend in the first place!
And speaking of eviscerating, one of the people who doesn't come out of Vijayakumar's essay looking completely alright is Ambedkar himself. The reason I've not buried this aspect of it is that I think having a measured but still principled attitude towards our heroes' flaws and mistakes is central to the body of anti-carceral personal ethics I'm trying to build and work on.
Leopoldina Fortunati, Thenmozhi Soundarajan, Edward Said, Nodeep Kaur, Audre Lorde, Priyanka Paul, Frantz Fanon, Osheen Siva, Silvia Federici, Vijeta Kumar, Edward Liger Smith, Asha Kowtal, Mimi Mondal - HOLDING UP THE SKY is a curation of some of my biggest inspirations and teachers. Arranged and interwoven in a way that gives listeners a 53-minute-long look at the inside of my head, complete with a soundtrack and oversaturated graphics.
This episode is my love letter to labour, materiality, the old (but still resonant) political ideologies that gave me centre and grip, the feminism I learnt at my mother's knee (my lever) and of course, to Ambedkar. He gave me a place to stand.
The not bad (if I do say so myself) episode art is a series of collages that I made from images from pixabay.com.
Opening theme: @jide_oj_
Production: @cartel.contra & @sansfuccs
Audio from live performances by:
Audre Lorde reading out her Uses of the Erotic
Kadubai Kharat performing Sonyane Bharli Oti
Thanks so much to the amazing artists from Lemonstand Boys for letting me use their phenomenal song 'RAKSHEESH'!open-source