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Episode 195 [in English]: Intensity and Exhaustion

We’ve got a personal episode this week with Ellie, Alia, and Nadia! 

A lot of the discussion focuses on one particularly eventful day for Alia and Nadia that included:

  • Alia attending a protest in solidarity with Iranian women’s rights, along with some friends from Iran, who discussed how optimism and political energy varies across micro-generations. 
  • The puppet/public art project Walk With Amal, which was heartwarming, but also brought up complicated feelings about the need for art to create empathy towards refugees.
  • The documentary Sirens about the Lebanese all women thrash metal band Slave to Sirens, which was both beautiful in its authentic depictions of Arab women, and bittersweet in having the last three years of events in Lebanon as a backdrop. 

Also in this episode, we wonder about the origins of weird wedding rituals (and why isn’t there a Worst Man?) We also discuss the sense of tired fogginess a lot of us have been feeling lately, and the weird void that comes with unlearning internalized capitalism: if we stop basing our self worth on our productivity, what are we supposed to base it on…just being hot? Plus, we talk sapphic sci-fi storylines.

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Episode 193 [in English]: Barrak Alzaid

Barrak Alzaid is an award-winning writer of memoir, prose, poetry and art criticism, as well as an educator and organizer of artistic community spaces. His current projects include his memoir Fabulous, about queer coming of age in Kuwait, and a speculative fiction novel grappling with the racial, class, and environmental circumstances of near-future Kuwait City (based on his short story “The Runner”). 

Barrak discusses how he aims to move away from the Eurocentric “single author” model of creating art, including the GCC artist collective, which creates group work around the aesthetics of their upbringings in the gulf, and holding physically-based group workshops as part of developing his upcoming novel. He also explains how he’s given other queer and trans “characters” in his memoir agency in how their experiences are described. 

We also talk about the relative gender freedom that’s sometimes allowed in childhood and how that influenced Barrak’s perspective growing up, the misguided optimism that sometimes occurs in the intersection of privilege and marginalization, navigating shifting family relationships, and more!
Photo Credit: Pern Khamwean,

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