Photo credit: Jenna Hamed (IG: @j7md)
Michael Zalta is a queer Syrian-American Jewish writer, researcher and playwright interested in the intersections between Media Theory, Biopolitics and Decolonial Aesthetics. His recent play “Who the Fuck is Ahmed” is about the psychosexual misadventures of an American-Jewish couple who moves to Haifa to raise a family, when a metaphysical ghost from historic Palestine drives a wedge through the relationship.
Michael discussed growing up in Brooklyn’s Syrian Jewish community (and the deep similarities he saw in David Adjmi’s memoir), and becoming a “Foucault Fuckboy” at NYU to overcompensate for the particular myopia of his upbringing. We talked about the psychology and performance of perpetrator’s guilt and the work that inspired him to become a playwright. He also described some of his recent essays unpacking concepts of racialization within Jewish communities internationally.