On this episode, my close friend Carol Zou visited me in Berlin and I was overjoyed to finally chat with Carol. I have known Carol since our time in undergrad and seen her develop over the years into a formidable artist, activist, and cultural worker. She is always reading and writing on top of her work and I always marvel at how Carol can juggle everything at once. For the interview, we discuss the economics of social practice, historical discontinuity in places, the performative dimensions of activism, and constructing mythologies. We are both drinking tea, so you may hear the occasional slurping.
I don’t think I could adequately summarize Carol’s practice, so I’ll read from Carol’s self-mythologized description from her website bio:
When Carol Zou was growing up in subsidized university housing as the child of first-generation Chinese immigrants, she read The Fledgling by Jane Langton and convinced the rest of the children in the apartment complex that if they practiced hard enough, they could collectively learn how to fly. She is currently still learning how to mobilize collective action around public space, imagination, and liberation from structural oppression.
And with that, I hope you enjoy this.