Interview: Mutual Aid and Black Queer Futurities, with Empty Your Venmo Fund — Epistemic Unruliness 33

In this Epistemic Unruliness interview, James features Savanna Touré, Lincoln Mondy, and Amirio Freeman — the activists-creatives at the Empty Your Venmo Mutual Aid Fund for Black LGBTQ+ youth. The collective details their coming together within Washington, D.C. activist networks and highlights the distinction of their mutual aid/collective care mobilizations and their historic models from prevailing charity modes and non-profit/NGO strategies of social action. Far from merely offering material support, Empty Your Venmo “conjures audacity” by inspiring Black LGBTQ+ youth to dream lavishly of futurity, this institutional love praxis mirroring the intimacy that animates Lincoln and Amirio’s personal relationship. Not only will listeners of this episode learn more about the important work of Empty Your Venmo, but, with no shortage of kikis and giggity-goos, they’ll get the tea about Amirio’s experience as a student in the first class James ever taught, including the ways Amirio’s research on the house-ballroom community have informed Empty Your Venmo’s critical horizon of Black LGBTQ+ mutual aid.
Requests for texts for us to discuss? Dreams for us to interpret? Advice questions for us to answer? Email us at alwaysalreadypodcast AT gmail DOT com. Subscribe on iTunes. Follow us on Twitter. Like our Facebook page. RSS feed here. Patreon here. Thanks to Bad Infinity for the intro music from their album FutureCommonsalways already thanks to B for the outro music. For the mp3 of the episode click here.
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Interview: Suhaly Bautista-Carolina on the Radical Futurity of Art – Epistemic Unruliness 16

In this installment of Epistemic Unruliness, James talks with Suhaly Bautista-Carolina, also known as “The Earth Warrior.” In addition to her work as Director of Programs at the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI) in Harlem and Community Relations Manager of the Brooklyn Museum, Suhaly engages the world as an artist, educator, and cultural advocate. The conversation focuses on how the practice of art stirs the political imagination towards alternative futures, as Suhaly and James discuss several of her artistic endeavors, including an Afrofuturist book club and an AfroLatinX salon and portrait project, among others.

Please support us on Patreon to help with recording equipment. Triple thanks to patrons Matthew R and Matthew S, double thanks to Steve and Angel, and thanks to Bunnie and Lieke.

Requests for texts for us to discuss? Dreams for us to interpret? Advice questions for us to answer? Email us at alwaysalreadypodcast AT gmail DOT com. Subscribe on iTunes. Follow us on Twitter. Like our Facebook page. RSS feed here. Thanks to Leah Dion, Jordan Cass, and B for the music. Get the mp3 of the episode here.

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Ep. 27 – Lauren Berlant, Cruel Optimism

Special guest co-host Lindsey Whitmore (Rutgers) joins Rachel and John to talk about Lauren Berlant’s 2011 book Cruel Optimism. Join us as we traverse this notably title-colon-less text in queer theory and cultural studies (among other fields). We start by asking what is cruel about cruel optimism and how it is related to attachment and temporality. From there, we ask after the way affect works in the text, what we might say Berlant’s method is, how her book relates to the work of Sara Ahmed and José Esteban Muñoz, her rethinking of agency and sovereignty, and more. There are some critical questions to discuss as well: What does her analysis of fatness and obesity miss? What other relations to futurity are possible? Is optimism always (already) cruel? The discussion closes by Lindsey telling us about how Berlant’s concept of “slow death” works in her own project on debility and care and by thinking through optimism’s relationship to survival.

In One or Several Wolves?, we analyze a dream about Tina Turner and Hogwarts; In My Tumblr Friend From Canada, we advise on summer body hair.

Thanks to Hanna for suggesting this text. Requests for texts for us to discuss? Dreams for us to interpret? Advice questions for us to answer? Email us at alwaysalreadypodcast AT gmail DOT com. Follow us on twitter. Subscribe on iTunes. Like our Facebook page. Get the mp3 of the episode here. RSS feed here. This episode’s music by Jordan Cass and by B.

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