Living Archive of Feminist Freedom Warriors

When Chandra Talpade Mohanty and Linda E. Carty create an archive/website of video interviews with the finest critical feminist minds, then edit their conversations into a collection for reading, it’s like we’ve been given a delicious gift. I’ve been pouring over their website, and am loving this digital archive of conversations with the likes of Cherríe Moraga, Barbara Smith, Rabab Abdulhadi, Heidi Safia Mirza and so many more beautiful minds.

The book features seven of these conversations, with Margo Okazawa-Rey, Angela Y. Davis, Himani Bannerji, Minnie Bruce Pratt, Amina Mama, Aída Hernández-Castillo, and Zillah Eisentein. I enjoyed reading how they all came into their work and their future feminist imaginings, and while they’re all brilliant, here I highlight some of Margo Okazawa-Rey’s words. 

Collective action and mobilizing is a resounding theme throughout the book, but Margo’s thinking on collective yearning really stood out for me. I’ve included a series of excerpts on this post where she delves into the notion of collective yearning.

“The current political moment, more than ever, demands us to understand, above all, our deepest yearnings. We must somehow reach individually and collectively into souls – of ‘our’ people and us and our ‘other’- to excavate those lodged within intergenerations of yearnings buried under layers of histories, pain and confusion. Unexpressed for myriad reasons, from being out of words, to fear, to mistrust of others’ willingness to hear, understand, and affirm. Unspoken because of our certainty, unconscious perhaps, that yearning is somehow a frivolous and ‘unproductive’ activity. Collective yearnings are one of our life forces, so instead [they] will motivate and inspire us to envision the world that has yet to exist.”

It made me pause and consider what I yearn for, and how we’re made to feel that articulating our yearning seems silly, or as she says ‘frivolous and unproductive.’  I don’t know if I am brave enough to voice my yearnings but her writing has sent me down a path I am happy to be able to reflect on. 

Please read this book. Everything you need to know is on their site, including the videos and detailed biographies. I really hope you check it out. It’s a total sisterhood fest in just the best way!  

Reading Options

Subscribe for more


Sign up to our monthly newsletter for new features, calls for submissions, recommendations, writer spotlights and more