Imagine Otherwise is a podcast about the people and projects bridging art, activism, and academia to build better worlds. Episodes offer in-depth interviews with creators who use culture for social justice, and explore the nitty-gritty work of imagining and creating more just worlds.
Hi, host Cathy Hannabach here. This podcast grew out of my long-time commitment to progressive social justice work that harnesses the braid of art, activism, and academia.
“Imagine otherwise” was an organizing slogan we used in the University of California system when organizing against the tuition hikes and attacks on the interdisciplines (women’s studies, ethnic studies, disability studies, etc.) back in the 2000s. It reflects and honors a long history of coalitional social justice organizing. The phrase draws on the Black radical tradition, the Zapatistas’ “another world is possible” and “we seek a world in which many worlds are possible,” feminism, queerness, Kandace Chuh’s work on Asian American critique, Les Feinberg’s “imagine a world worth living in, imagine a world worth fighting for,” Amber Hollibaugh and Dorothy Allison’s notion of revolutions starting when we look each other in the eye and say “I want” and mean it, Judith Butler’s idea of fantasy as establishing the possible in excess of the real, and intersectional social justice movements that have insisted on creating a different world, recognizing the alternative worlds that already exist, and valuing impossibility (as Gayatri Gopinath points out, marginalized populations are all supposedly “impossible” yet are here speaking, organizing, living, and resisting anyway).
I want more progressive, social justice-oriented folks who combine the intellectual platform and methodologies of academia, the creativity and wonder of art, and the fire and rage of activism to create the worlds we want. I want more brilliant books that ignite ideas, more art that sparks protests, more activism that historicizes and critiques, and more communities that can enact the change they need.
The most vibrant and world-changing work happens at the intersections of feminist, racial justice, disability, queer, anticapitalist, and transgender movements.
This podcast is a way to highlight the kick-ass worldmaking cultural productions that people are collaboratively generating at the nexus of art, activism, and academia. Maybe it will inspire you to create your own.