reflections from the first round of interviews

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grove of the old trees, sonoma county, california

Dear friends,

In lieu of a new interview, today I will share some reflections and appreciations from this project so far.

It’s such a privilege to have conversations about labor, creativity, oppression, and revolution with inspiring people from various communities. Each interview has been special in its own way and helped to highlight different aspects of what makes creative and generative work important. Each interview helps me believe and feel the power and necessity of this work to build the world we want to live in — in spite of all the internalized messages that tells me that the feminized, invisibilized, and creative labor that I and so many people from my communities engage in are frivolous contributions without any real impact.

On a small scale, my hope for the impact of this project is that it lifts peoples’ spirits, that reading these interviews is much-needed antidote to all the terrible news about the rise of repression that many of us are directly impacted by, and many others of us consume obsessively to the point of feeling helpless. On a loftier, more visionary scale, my hope for the impact of this project is that it empowers people to entertain the possibilities for resistance and regeneration in their own lives, even if their work and time does not feel overtly political or connected to liberation. As someone who struggles to dream big for fear of disappointing myself and others, I challenge all of us to bring to life the realm of possibilities that only require us to see them and to act on them.

In case you are reading this and have not yet caught up on all the interviews that have already been posted, I wanted to share some connections that linger with me:

  • Iman mentioning how meaningful it is to come home from a protest to find a friend has been cooking a nourishing meal to share, and Keely talking about being the one to grow and cook food to nourish her friends throwing down at demos.
  • Jonah and Iman each referring to medicinal plant communities as allies and models of resilience in the face of capitalism
  • Keely and Lindsey talking about the double edged sword of social media — how the “endless scrolling” can be exhausting and destructive, but connecting to others with similar work and values feels nourishing and important
  • Adrienne and Jonah talking about the importance of being creative and visionary when thinking about the world we want to live in, in spite of the constraints capitalism puts on our imaginations
  • Nearly all the interviewees describing a desire for a deeper sense of collective connection to land and earth’s natural resources
  • Several to-be-published interviews all naming adrienne maree brown’s Emergent Stategy as a force that shapes and directs their work

On a personal level it’s also been energizing and nourishing to more intentionally connect with the people and resources in my life I have access to, and integrating these interviews so holistically into my life — last night to mark the first night of Hanukah, I burned Narrow Bridge Candles, and felt more connected to the ritual in knowing they were crafted by Jonah with such care and intention. Last week I attended the showcase of The Red Shades, Adrienne’s trans superhero rock opera in progress — I don’t know that I’ve ever felt so politically energized by theater, and I’m so confident this work could inspire well beyond our community of Bay Area queer and transfolk. It’s so healing and moving to remember the incredible people I am in community with, even when I feel isolated and hopeless.

Please reach out if you feel open to sharing any reflections or feedback about what you’ve read so far, and please also reach out if you or someone you know might be a good interviewee in the project. I have been humbled and grateful for the folks who’ve taken the time to do this so far.

I hope to be back on track with publishing new interviews starting next week — upcoming interviews include Devi & Lexi of QTPOC arts organization Peacock Rebellion, bodyworker Dusty, and more TBA.

With love, humility, and hope,

xo freddie

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