Episode 32: Barnali Ghosh & Anirvan Chatterjee

(un)making

Episode 32: Barnali Ghosh & Anirvan Chatterjee

By Weston Teruya June 6, 2018

Weston Teruya welcomes artists, arts administrators, and cultural workers of color to get real about their lives, practices, and careers. Each episode is an in-depth look into how art gets made, but more importantly how these folks are seeing to the system of art’s (UN)making.


In this final episode of season two, we talk with community activists and researchers Barnali Ghosh & Anirvan Chatterjee, the founders and facilitators of the Berkeley South Asian Radical History Walking Tour. Through the tour, the two guide people across downtown Berkeley as they share stories that explore the multigenerational and intersectional work of South Asian Americans in the region: from Queer community building, feminist mobilization against human trafficking and labor exploitation, international freedom movements, and student organizing. The two have also carried this investment in bringing together storytelling and cultural history in curatorial projects--including exhibitions and programs at Kearny Street Workshop and the Asian Art Museum--and ongoing writings that continue to uncover new archival resources.

In the course of our discussion, Barnali & Anirvan explain the connections between the tour and continuing activist work, the role street theater plays in the project, and why the walking tour format best reflected the history of people that has been in the region for over 150 years but doesn’t have the kind of visible landmarks that might anchor other communities.

Thank you again for following this season’s thematic exploration of Place. We’ll be back in the Fall with the third season of the podcast as we look at Movement: whether performative languages, the migration of groups of people, and collective political mobilizations and actions.

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Anirvan Chatterjee is a storyteller, activist, and technologist. He produces online storytelling resources including histories of African American and South Asian solidarity and the Secret Desi History blog. His activist work is rooted in racial and climate justice--particularly through Bay Area Solidarity Summer, the Alliance of South Asians Taking Action, and the Desi Queer Helpline.

Barnali Ghosh works at the intersection of cities, climate, and activism. A California landscape architect, she has designed parks, playgrounds, and streetscapes across the state. Ghosh spent a year interviewing over sixty climate activists in twelve countries, as part of the Year of No Flying project. She now does transit, walking, and biking advocacy as a board member of TransForm.

Subscribe to Art Practical on iTunes to catch (un)making as soon as it publishes, or look for it here every other Friday! #APaudio

This episode is funded in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency.

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