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Episode 145 [in English]: Michael Zalta

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. 

https://www.heyalma.com/david-adjmi-is-filling-the-gap 

https://prtcls.com/article/hallucinatory-ethnicization/ 

https://www.zamancollective.com/all-posts/michaelbeyondashkenormativity

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Episode 144 [in English]: Land Back

Aram Ronaldo is a Palestinian-American organizer invested in anti-colonial land justice across geographies.  They joined us to discuss solidarity organizing between Indigenous, Black, and Palestinian movements, and the duality of being both displaced people and settlers. 

They discuss their current project, The Lalime Ohlone Transfer Project, which involves transferring their family business’s land to the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust,* the Bay Area’s prominent Indigenous women-led community organization. 

We also talked about their first time visiting Palestine, the foods that keep us connected to our cultures, the importance of imagination in activist/organizing work, the origins of “philistine” as an insult, and more. 

*For listeners in the East Bay, we recommend checking out the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust’s Shuumi Land Tax, which offers several ways to support the rematriation of land to Indigenous people.

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