In January 2019, Valia, Vee and I sat down in a Palestinian restaurant in Central London and decided to start a podcast. We were going to call it Kandakat doing it for themselves – Exploring activism in everyday practice.
Vee had been experimenting with sound; Valia and I had been looking for ways to capture the energy that we were surrounded with at our university. We wanted to document the rich intellectual debates and conversations that we had with our friends, so that we ourselves could understand them better.
How did we think of activism?
Were we activists or pseudo-intellectuals debating in our privileged and isolated bubble, without practicing what we wrote and read?
We certainly felt a strong activist energy in the amazing projects and/or daily lives of most of our friends. Sharing their insights with the Kandaka community would surely benefit everyone. So we brainstormed a long list of friends and asked them to come over for dinner and a conversation. We were not going to structure our episodes much, we simply wanted to record the magic that they shared with us so often, and feed them in return.
Our first guest was Katouche Goll.
Kat is that friend who never misses an opportunity to shift your world view and understanding of yourself, eloquently and thoughtfully. Her wisdom and humour are unlike any other. As soon as she enters a space, you will find a group of people gathering around and listening to her stories. She picks our brains and makes us feel just the right amount of uncomfortable. Never offensive, because before she speaks, she listens. And when she speaks, we listen.
We wanted to start with Kat, because she infuses her activism with joy, love, laughter, courage, passion and music. Her identity challenges the notion of what it means to be an activist. She doesn’t hide that hers is not an easy path, but her creative and kind character never fail to inspire us and remind us that she is destined for greatness. Even when she can’t see it herself.
After sitting down with Kat, talking for hours and feeling excited to publish our first episode, life happened.
Friends kept coming over for dinner and the conversations continued, but we never recorded another one. At some point we gave up the idea of our podcast and accepted that now was not the time. In April 2020, one year later, Vee surprised us with this recording. We had originally planned a series of 20-minute episodes, short and with the facts. Instead, Vee gifted us with an hour-long message from a past life, filled with wisdom, jokes and nostalgia.
As activists we want to be perfect and this will never be the case. We should nonetheless celebrate our efforts, even if they come in the form of a single podcast episode.
None of us are in the same place now and we dearly miss the space we created one year ago in my room in North London. We share this recording with you in the hope that you can relate, learn, and feel inspired the way we felt and still feel whenever we sit down and talk with our friends.
Find Katouche on Instagram and twitter as @itskatouche and @imminentsound
Listen to Imminent on Spotify here.
On Saturdays, Kat co-facilitates the sessions for Tracing Black History which are part of our K I N O T I T A art residency.
Conversation between Kat, Vee, Valia & Amuna
Recording, edit and production by Veronique Belinga
Music by Blue Dot Sessions
Words by Amuna Wagner
Illustrations by Hannah Wolny
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