In this episode, we caught up with Rana Fayez, an Arab, non-binary, arts producer, musician/sound artist, DJ, archivist, and founder of YallaPunk. Rana told us how they started YallaPunk in 2016 in response to political attacks on the SWANA community and how the organization has evolved since then, including the festivals, language practice groups, pandemic-era community kitchen, residencies, and pop-up events. They also talked about the mental health tolls of being in a quasi-community-organizer role, the unrealistic expectations placed on individuals with a moderately-sized public platform, and how they’ve learned to set boundaries around their time, energy, and social media engagement. Additionally, we discussed Rana’s music projects, their plans to start a goth band, their work with New York Public library, and more.
Plus, listen to find out about Rana’s cancelation campaign, how a camel would wear a hijab, and our favorite murder scenes.