Today’s episode is on care work with Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, a writer, cultural worker, teacher, and trainer based in the Pacific Northwest. Leah will discuss her recent book that came out in October 2018 titled, Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice. We talked last fall about the meaning of care work and disability justice and how people practice both in their everyday lives. Please note, throughout the interview, the term DJ refers to disability justice.
Amor, Bani. (November 1, 2018). “Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice” Draws Real-as-F*ck Maps of Justice and Care. Autostraddle.
Contractor, Rachna. (March 21, 2017). An Interview with Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha. Plenitude Magazine.
Hamilton, Anna. (November 14, 2018). Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha’s Care Work is an Outstanding Collection of Essays on Disability Justice. Global Comment.
Gershon, Livia. (November 2018). A Stimulus Plan for the Mutual Aid Economy. Longreads.
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is a queer disabled femme writer, organizer, performance artist and educator of Burgher/Tamil Sri Lankan and Irish/Roma ascent. The author of Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice, Dirty River: A Queer Femme of Color Dreaming Her Way Home (ALA Above the Rainbow List, short-listed for the Lambda and Publishing Triangle Awards), Bodymap (short-listed for the Publishing Triangle Award), Love Cake (Lambda Literary Award winner), and Consensual Genocide, with Ching-In Chen and Jai Dulani, she co-edited of TheRevolution Starts At Home: Confronting Intimate Violence in Activist Communities. Leah’s next two books, Tonguebreaker and Exploring Transformative Justice: A Reader (co-edited with Ejeris Dixon) are forthcoming in 2019.
A lead artist with the disability justice performance collective Sins Invalid since 2009, Leah’s writing has been widely anthologized and published, with recent work featured in PBS Newshour, Poets.org’s Poetry and the Body folio, The Deaf Poets Society, Bitch, Self, TruthOut and The Body is Not an Apology. Her essays have appeared in Glitter and Grit, Octavia’s Brood, Dear Sister, Undoing Border Imperialism, Stay Solid, Persistence: Still Butch and Femme, Yes Means Yes, Visible: A Femmethology, Homelands, Colonize This, We Don’t Need Another Wave, Bitchfest, Without a Net, Dangerous Families, Brazen Femme, Femme and A Girl’s Guide to Taking Over The World.
From 2006-2015 Leah co-founded and co-directed Mangos With Chili, a groundbreaking queer and trans people of color performance tour and collective, and she co-founded Toronto’s Asian Arts Freedom School in 2006. She is a VONA Fellow and holds an MFA from Mills College. She is also a rust belt poet, a Sri Lankan with a white mom, a femme over 40, a grassroots intellectual, a survivor who is hard to kill.
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Sarika D. Mehta, Audio Producer
Alice Wong, Writer, Producer, Interviewer
Cheryl Green, Text Transcript
Lateef McLeod, Introduction
Mike Mort, Artwork
Theme Music (used with permission of artist)
Song: “Dance Off”
Artist: Wheelchair Sports Camp
“Slow Casino” by Blue Dot Sessions is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License)
“Rose Ornamental” by Blue Dot Sessions is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License)
“Alphabet Soup” by Podington Bear is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License)