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a good refugee
politics, pop culture, podcasts, bad prose and worser poetry
Apr 11, 2021
A long and meandering ride to anarchy and liberation - Arya Namdol (104 mins)
Gelek speaks with cyclist, entrepreneur and activist Arya Namdol about her early life in India and America (07:00); anti Asian racism (22:25); being an anarchist (36:06); what cycling means to her (47:00); creating BIPOC spaces and voices in cycling (56:16); plus tips on biking, memorable rides, etc. (89:25).
Mar 20, 2021
The Atlanta shooting: reckoning with anti-Asian, anti-sex worker misogyny - Jane Shi (60 mins)
Jane Shi joins GRP to discuss the March 16 Atlanta shooting (02:20); how class, citizenship, and the justice system interact in anti-Asian and sex worker violence (10:15); how people can meaningfully engage in the migrant sex worker issue (28:15); Canada’s Bill C-7 (30:27); Jane’s personal and political formation (38:00); and some of her other work and advocacy.
Mar 16, 2021
Advocating for better housing, cannabis, and BBQ joints with Caryma Sa’d (66 mins)
Gelek speaks with Caryma Sa’d about her career as a lawyer and how she got into the legal field (05:25); her beef against BBQAnon guy Adam Skelly (19:00); her thoughts on cannabis law in Canada and how it intersects with the current discourse on police abolition (40:00); the housing situation in Toronto (58:25); and more.
Mar 11, 2021
East Turkestan: from frontier to prison state - Mehmet Tohti and Ben Mauk (79 mins)
Gelek and Tsering speak with Mehmet Tohti and Ben Mauk about the situation in East Turkestan, aka Xinjiang. They speak about Ben’s New Yorker article (10:00), the current situation there from Mehmet (18:10), the parallels of War on Terror between China and America (34:00), Adrian Zenz and the matter of one million Uyghurs detained (41:00), how people are staying connected within East Turkestan (58:00), and more.
Feb 26, 2021
Black, queer liberation & Tibetan Buddhism: Lama Rod Owens - part 2 (29 mins)
In the second and concluding part of Gelek’s conversation with Lama Row Owens, they speak about the loss of magic and exploring Indigeneity (01:25); holding space for anger and violence in creating justice and peace (09:05); the weaponization of niceness (20:55); bodies, movement and breathing in the time of a pandemic (22:40); and more.
Feb 14, 2021
Black, queer liberation & Tibetan Buddhism: Lama Rod Owens - part 1 (43 mins)
Losar Tashi Delek and Happy Lunar New Year! In this episode, a Good Refugee Podcast speaks with Buddhist teacher, activist and writer Lama Rod Owens on a wide spectrum of topics covering spirituality, silence and power (06:55); how class, race, wealth and justice intersect with Buddhism today (12:35); sexual abuse in dharma spaces (26:56); drawing boundaries between the teacher, student, sangha and social life (29:38); and mental health (40:00).
Feb 3, 2021
For the love of reading - Manjushree Thapa (53 mins)
Gelek speaks with writer, friend and fellow Nepali Torontonian Manjushree Thapa to get some insight into her reading projects (03:34), traveling across Colombia in the footsteps of Gabriel García Márquez (08:30), her writing process (26:11) and writing projects (35:15). They also mix in some spirited momo discourse, where Gelek tries to pitch Manjushree on his idea of co-hosting a Netflix show about these delectable Tibetan/Nepali dumplings (17:20).
Jan 29, 2021
2020 in review and 2021 in Tibetan oracle style (72 mins)
The GRP cast catch up to give a retrospective on 2020, and their most based and boring predictions for 2021. Everything from the shenanigans that unfolded on Jan 6 and Jan 21 (09:05), Gelek going nude on print (23:50), the biggest disappointments of 2020 (30:00), and what they think will happen in 2021 (49:00).
Jan 16, 2021
Training the next JEDI leaders - Annahid Dashtgard (45 mins)
Author and change-maker Annahid Dashtgard chats with Gelek about her life and work confronting racism (00:55), how the oppressed can become oppressors (09:00), healing work among racialized peoples (18:30), the limits of diversity trainings (25:00), adding justice to EDI work (36:22), the upcoming Anima Conference (40:00), and more.
Jan 1, 2021
Tibetan elections in exile - Kaysang and Tenzin Jigdal (92 mins)
Gelek and Choeyang caught up with Chitue (parliamentary) candidates Tenzin Kalsang (Kaysang) and Tenzin Jigdal to talk about the Tibetan elections taking place on Jan 3, 2021. They touch on initial thoughts about the upcoming election (02:10), the issues they want to highlight (9:05), how the Tibetan parliament-in-exile is set up (24:50), a literally earthshaking endorsement from Kaysang (70:25), dismantling the U-Tsang confederacy (77:30), and more.
Dec 27, 2020
Am I the Asshole? with Nishant Upadhyay (64 mins)
Gelek and Tsering, along with special guest Nishant Upadhyay, pass judgments on a housekeeper terrorized by plush lizard toys (05:25), the U.S. finding $600 for Americans (14:30), dick pic etiquette (22:40), Modi and the farmer protests in India (31:15), and our millennial casanova Martin Shkreli. Bonus discussion on the Bidens and the whole deal about credentials (52:30).
Dec 22, 2020
The best music, films and fashion of 2020 - Susan Blight (72 mins)
Susan Blight gives her take on the best films and music to come out of an impossibly bewildering and isolating year. Episode begins with Susan’s participation in Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto [03:00], what films mean to her and her top five selections [9:45], the Michelle Latimer issue [37:00], and finally, Susan’s connection to music and her top five albums, plus song of the year [46:00].
Dec 5, 2020
Tibetan art in exile with Tenzing Sonam and Tenzin Dolker (61 mins)
Gelek and Choeyang speak with Tenzing Sonam and Tenzin Dolker about the growth and evolution of Tibetan arts in the diaspora: how they first connected with art [02:04]; censorship as both restricting and liberating inside Tibet [16:20]; lack of institutional and community support for non-traditional Tibetan artists [27:00]; DIFF and TibetFilms.com [36:15]; and much more.
Dec 1, 2020
What makes a good Tibetan refugee? (65 mins)
The messy, meandering ways that political and personal identities evolve in the diaspora (03:30), the interplay of politics and religion in Tibetan lives (16:00), revisiting His Holiness’s pretty Dalai Lama joke from 2019 (28:00), Palestine (39:00), and more.
Nov 22, 2020
Love, solidarity & mutual aid with Kalaya'an Mendoza (62 mins)
We speak with Kalaya’an Mendoza about his work as an election defender (8:20); mutual aid and community justice in the time of COVID and state violence (12:20); how Kalaya’an got involved with the Tibetan freedom movement (30:20); the weaponization of non-violence (44:00); and much more.
Oct 31, 2020
Trump, Tibet, the decline of America & Nov 3 - Carole McGranahan (55 mins)
Gelek speaks with professor Carole McGranahan about what’s at stake on Nov 3, Trump’s incredible capacity for mendacity (05:00), why Tibetan Americans should think twice about supporting Trump (28:00), China vs the U.S. (40:00), and what’s a good refugee to do going forward (43:00).
Oct 31, 2020
Episode 1: Breaking down the pivotal Tibetan Trump voting bloc, with Dechen Tsering
For the first episode, we interview Dechen Tsering and talk to her about why she thinks Tibetans shouldn’t support Trump [16:00], why Biden and Harris represent a lifeline for America [37:00], and why it takes more than a vote to be an active and compassionate citizen [48:00], among many other things.