Every episode writer, poet and activist Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan is joined by a different guest to discuss and deconstruct two seemingly oppositional ideas (innocence/guilt, radical/moderate, secular/religious etc). In doing this we consider if things are really so simple, or if seemingly commonsensical binaries actually hide, obscure and allow for much more complicated political dynamics.
Fake News/Truth with Maryam Jameela
In Episode 7 of Season 2, Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan discusses the binary of Fake News and Truth with Maryam Jameela. Maryam is a writer and researcher with a background in academia, working in researching trauma, Islamophobia, and power structures. She's recently started working for the Canary as an investigative journalist, and her work can also be found via her Twitter handle, @yammatron. In this episode Maryam helped dismantle the rhetoric around 'combating Fake news' by considering the terms of the conversation itself, what constitutes 'fake' and how we go about declaring what is 'true'. Is there such thing as 'true' representation, if there is 'false' representation? Are historical narratives ever entirely true or false? How does this binary play into our very ideas about what knowledge and information are? To read the transcript of this episode instead, follow this link: https://www.suhaiymah.com/breaking-binaries-transcripts.
Victim/Perpetrator with Kristen Cherry
In Episode 6 of Season 2, Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan discusses the binary of Victim and Perpetrator with Kristen Cherry. Kristen is a survivor advocate and a movement worker based in Louisville, Kentucky, in the USA. She worked at her local domestic violence/sexual assault crisis center for 2 ½ years, counseling survivors in shelter, over the crisis line, and through the court process after filing for civil protection orders. Kristen is currently involved in community organising efforts in Louisville as protests continue following the police killing of Breonna Taylor in 2020, that has included co-coordinating a protest arrest hotline, which provides support to protestors facing charges and connects them with free legal support. In this episode Kristen helped to shed light on the ways victim/perpetrator hides the contexts that produce violence, and enables them to go uninterrogated. Should violence be understood as an inherent part of someone, and equally, should being victim to it? How can we center survivors and healing, as well as create outcomes that lead to accountability and justice rather than merely offer incarceration as the solution to violence? The book mentioned by Kristen is Beyond Survival: Strategies and Stories from the Transformative Justice Movement. ed. Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha and Ejeris Dixon.To read the transcript of this episode instead, follow this link: https://www.suhaiymah.com/breaking-binaries-transcripts.
British Empire/British Nation with Nadine El-Enany
*BONUS EPISODE*In Episode 5 of Season 2, Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan discusses the binary of Britain as empire and Britain as nation, with Nadine El-Enany.Nadine El-Enany is Reader in Law at Birkbeck School of Law and Co-Director of the Centre for Research on Race and Law, she teaches and researches in the fields of migration and refugee law, European Union law, protest and criminal justice. Nadine has written for the Guardian, the LRB Blog, Pluto Blog, Verso Blog, Open Democracy, Media Diversified, Left Foot Forward and Critical Legal Thinking. Her book, (B)ordering Britain: law, race and empire (2020) was published by Manchester University Press and is the basis of this episode's destruction.Did Britain ever stop being an empire? Has Britain ever been a truly sovereign, bounded nation-state, or does 2021 mark the first year of it trying to be so? If all Britain's wealth, welfare and institutions are embedded in colonial conquest or infused by its profit, who gets to say what Britain is, or who is "outside it"? This episode's discussion comes as a bonus episode to mark the new year. Whilst we break down the binary, Nadine El-Enany also provides us with a hopeful discussion and reminder that the future is yet to be made, and Britain is "up for grabs".To read the transcript of this episode follow this link: https://www.suhaiymah.com/breaking-binaries-transcripts.
Disability/Ability with Anamika Misra
In Episode 4 of Season 2, Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan discusses the binary of Disability and Ability with Anamika Misra.Anamika is an Autistic PhD researcher and Assistant Lecturer at Kent Law School. She has previously been involved in the Decolonise the Curriculum Project at Kent and organises with precarious staff and students of colour across a range of social justice issues. Though she’s supposed to have academic expertise in the law of armed conflict and human rights, she finds the language of expertise problematic and prefers to say she’s interested in learning about race, colonialism, disability, sexuality and gender.This episode's discussion sees Anamika help to break down how the binary of disability and ability is constructed - historically, and ideologically; the ways it is rooted in ideas of human value in relation to capital; how this means we only value ability in relation to capitalistic "value"; how this binary homogenises so many varied experiences into two boxes; and what it would look like to focus more on changing structural and societal dynamics that disable people. The resources mentioned by Anamika are as follows: - The Harriet Tubman Collective, @HTCSolidarity on Twitter- Their statement on disability solidarity- The Black Disability Collective,@BlackDisability on Twitter- Autistic Tyla- Aucademy To read the transcript of this episode instead, follow this link: https://www.suhaiymah.com/breaking-binaries-transcripts.
Majority/Minority with Azeezat Johnson
In Episode 3 of Season 2, Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan discusses the binary of Majority and Minority with Dr Azeezat Johnson.Azeezat is a research fellow in human geography at Queen Mary University of London. Her current project unpacks the racial history that informs black Muslim women's lives in London. She asks how these women create and embody practices of home whilst navigating the imperial nostalgia and racism that has been exposed through Brexit. She's also the co-editor of The Fire Now: Anti-Racist Scholarship in Times of Explicit Racial Violence.This episode's discussion centers on how the language of majority and minority flattens differences and power dynamics,and asks what is enabled by framing people as a 'minority', as well as what it does to us when we think about ourselves as 'minorities'.To read the transcript of this episode instead, follow this link: https://www.suhaiymah.com/breaking-binaries-transcripts.
Free Speech/Censorship with Sita Balani
In Episode 2 of Season 2, Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan discusses the binary of Free Speech and Censorship with Dr Sita Balani. Sita is a lecturer in contemporary literature and culture at King's College London. In her research and teaching, she explores the relationship between imperialism and identity in contemporary Britain. Her work has appeared in Feminist Review, Identity Theory, Open Democracy, Photoworks and the Verso blog. This episode's discussion centers on dismantling the straight-forward ways that Free Speech and Censorship are presented to us, and asks whether they're really such clear-cut categories - discussing what it means to be "cancelled" in a context where state censorship is rarely acknowledged as 'cancellation', and what sorts of conversations are obscured when we get stuck in the loop of asking whether certain words or cartoons should/shouldn't be allowed to be published. By discussing a wide range of relevant contexts and histories the binary is dismantled to uncover what it hides, who it protects, and what it obscures.To read the transcript of this episode instead, follow this link: https://www.suhaiymah.com/breaking-binaries-transcripts.