Accessible Lovefest Transcript

Accessible Lovefest Transcript


CARA: How are you doing Pree?

PREE: I’m good it’s been a long day but it was fun.

CARA: Okay.

PREE: Yeah. I’ll probably end up telling you about it when we get into it.

CARA: Good. Yeah I think we can start now like as in terms of the recording

and what is out there. Good good good.

So, yeah, what were you doing today
if you don’t mind?

PREE: Yeah so today,

my ADHD has been getting
the best of me. Where I feel like

I try so hard. I’m like really militant
with myself about as soon as a event or

like something is proposed it goes in
the calendar, you know.

And like as a chronically ill person, like I have so many appointments.

It’s the end of the calendar year so my insurance is gonna run out.

I have all these Bodywork appointments


but like my brain’s been getting the best of me like I’ve been like messing up.

I’m going to appointments a week early. I’m arriving two hours early.

Like I had the time wrong this morning, so it was kind of one of those days

where I woke up and I was like “Oh my God” I made a mistake.

So it was kind of just like playing catch up since I got up

and yeah, but then once that kind of got going, it was a really fun day.

I’m working on a project right now for Toronto history museums

for an install for I guess like early winter/spring next year

and I’m leading like the cohort of artists that are speaking to how…

so the whole exhibit is about how Covid-19 has affected different communities.

And so I was really fortunate and really excited that I was invited to kind of lead

the cohort of artists that are speaking to like how Covid has affected disabled artists.

And so for kind of like our major
kind of group piece for the project

we had to go fabric shopping and so I proposed us going to Brampton.

Where Harmeet and I grew up, to go to Jagjit textiles to buy all the fabrics

because it’s like Fabric Land but times a million

and extremely organized and extremely disorganized at the same time.

It’s just like a familiar chaos but yeah so we went to Jagjit textiles

I spent like the afternoon. It felt like a time warp like Lila my best friend,

one of my best friends, and is also a colleague on this project

We were talking about how it feels
like we were in there for like a year.

It’s just like, I don’t know, ceilings
are like 30 feet and it’s just like fabric

that just keeps going up and there’s no empty space and there’s like trims and

sari’s and everything, everywhere but so we did a bunch of fabric shopping for our install

and I’m just yeah I’m so excited to just like get started on that and yeah and then,

we kind of got stuck in rush hour coming back from Brampton to Toronto

So yeah. I’m just like trying to get myself
grounded and ready for our discussion but

yeah it was really interesting because like in the Uber ride on the way home

Lila and I were talking about just like some of our challenges and our experiences

as like

people who are disabled and also autistic and we were actually talking a little bit about

our access intimacy together as friends

We were talking about how we learned about certain boundaries from each other

and things we remember from like earlier in our friendships you know,

and yeah, so I feel like that was like
the pre-conversation to this conversation

Yeah. So that’s what I’ve been up to.
That was my day. How are your days?

CARA: I had a good day
today. So my day started with

okay, last night I found a pencil on
the street okay,

and I don’t know why but I’m in love with this pencil

like it’s just like a classic kind of pencil and on the back it has all of these like marks.

I don’t know if you can see it but they’re like indents and marks on it

But they’re still painted yellow so I don’t know if someone went back-

I don’t know. I just it’s like the eraser is great so I feel like the pencil was like telling me

I need to like draw and write today, this morning.

So then I texted my friend, who is an artist from Thunder Bay, who made like a giant

sculpture of a pencil, like huge sculpture.

And so it reminded me of him so I was like

“Hey Shane, like look what I found. I love this pencil.” and he was like

I was like “it’s telling me to draw or write today” and then he’s like

“Are you going to?” like kind of like a challenge and I was like “Damn!”

because I also you know, have lots of ideas but I get very distractible

and you know things don’t always work out but

I ended up, I kind of took it as a challenge and then I did write some stuff

about actually I ended up writing something. Do you want to hear it?

I can read it right now. Okay, so it’s very short

Here is the pencil writing: Fixed a broken bike in my dream last night

woke up accomplished.

Warmed up leftover tea from yesterday morning, saved about 20 minutes

seems not doing things is kind of my thing.

PREE: I love that.

CARA: So that’s how I kind of started my day. Felt good. Felt like I was owning

not doing things.

And yes, then I just was thinking about this conversation and how I was excited

oh and I told this friend about- the reason why I was saying all this, is I told the friend

that we were going to be talking about this and we also ended up having a

conversation about access intimacy

because he had never heard that term before

And he said some nice things just about kind of like questions

he was like “Does it mean this?” “What does it mean?”

and I was like, kind of examples, yeah in our own space like where we feel comfortable

with each other and we don’t feel like we need to always explain everything

every detail about how we’re
feeling you know, there’s like a unsaid understanding.

This is how I was describing it.

And yeah it felt really nice.

Yeah, then I went grocery shopping.

So yes…

PREE: With your archival tote-bag.

CARA: I did take the archival tote-bag. Yes.

PREE: I like the, the pencil was
speaking to me and like that this is just

this sick pencil. Like I love the idea of like finding magic in regular items

I feel like that’s also just like such a Crip thing

and like it just also makes me think of like spoonie hacks

like my friend and I were having lunch today and they pulled out a Jolly Rancher

and they just recently started one of
the same meds that I’m on

and we were talking about how it causes so much dry mouth and we were like

that’s the candy! That’s the one. It’s like better than like water, mint, gums

it just like keeps you salivating and we’re just like

Jolly Ranchers that’s the Crip hack for Cymbalta.

That’s where it’s at and also when you said that you were having that conversation

with your friend and thinking about how like

you know, he was unfamiliar with the term.

Yeah, Lila and I, we were talking about access intimacy without saying that we were talking about

access intimacy you know? And I think that it’s interesting that it itself is like an unsaid,

understood thing and then

we’re also talking about it without it being named and it being kind of like unsaid as well.

But yeah.

Hi Harmeet.

PREE: long time no see.

HARMEET: I know man. Maybe for people who are listening for some context.

Me and Pree are siblings and we
live together, so they’re in the other room.

Thanks for sharing about your days. You know what my day wasn’t as eventful guys

I’m gonna keep it real with you like, it really wasn’t

today was a Thursday. For me like a very regular Thursday. I wrapped up a project

I’ve been working on for a couple of months that I was supporting with

so that was nice. It felt like an end of a chapter. I’m ready to move on

and earlier this week- I’m doing my master’s at York in critical disability studies.

We were having a conversation about like laying down and it was something

that while I was laying down today and feeling kind of like ‘blah’

because it was a really slow day for me. I wasn’t feeling great about it

but we had a conversation about like access intimacy and how

like Western architecture doesn’t assume that you’re allowed to lie down in public spaces

it’s just like not normal but you know a Punjabi we call it manja’s

and they’re like these day beds and we have them everywhere

like they’re in every spot of the house you know, it’s like normal to come in

and you’re just like laid out while you’re around people like it’s a very normative

part of the culture.

So I was thinking about that today
that made me feel better about being really slow.

And what do I have in my hand- I have all these like little origami papers

I got from my trip from Halifax in the summer

and I chose one just now that made me feel like

I don’t know. This I feel like is kind of what our conversations texture is like,

so I’m just playing with this and messing around with it.

It’s fun. It’s little fishes. That’s us, man.

Just swimming around figuring it out.

So that’s the vibe.

CARA: That’s awesome. Yes I love lying down and I’m trying to create

my living room so it’s all just like the best space for multiple people to be lying down

all the time. That’s the vibe.

PREE: That’s so sick.

HARMEET: Bro, you’re a professional homebody vibes. We are too.

You gotta make it chilling times, all the time, you know.

CARA: I’m feeling like- have
you ever seen the Grinch?

and like how he has this lair where it’s really like-

You have to go down all these pipes and it’s like he lives underneath everything.

PREE: yeah.

CARA: That’s kind of where I’m going when I come into my door.

HARMEET: Wait can I ask you what is your zodiac sign?

CARA: I’m a Scorpio.

HARMEET: Of course you want to be a Grinch like-

PREE: Wait, when’s your birthday?

CARA: November 14th

PREE: I’m 13.

CARA: wait. wow.

PREE: going Scorpio Bash

CARA: I’m down

PREE: Homebody edition

CARA: Yes that.

HARMEET: I’m a Taurus so I’m sister signs with both of you.

CARA: Right on.

HARMEET: We’re on the opposite side of the zodiac so we have many

things in common and we also have many things not in common

but it’s good because then we challenge each other. Yeah, man.

CARA: My moon is Taurus and in India isn’t it like they more centre the moon

I found that when I was there like it was like your moon sign was more-

not more important but like they talked about it more.

HARMEET: That makes a lot of sense you got a Taurus moon. I have a Leo moon.

But I have like four Taurus placements in my chart and I feel like if I didn’t have a Leo

like I would get nothing done man, I’d never leave my fucking house like I would just sit

in my house, eat good food, all the time and that’s it but sometimes it’s nice to leave the

house a little bit you know. It’s fun.

PREE: So you’re saying if you didn’t have the Leo you would stay at home

all the time, eat good food, and just have a good time?

HARMEET: That’s it. That’s literally it. And sometimes I want to do that all the time.

PREE: I’m not hearing the difference. I feel like that is what you do now.

HARMEET: You know what, man
Fuck you. You know what fuck you.

HARMEET: Yeah it’s true.
CARA: You have insider- you have like an insider.

CARA: I don’t have anyone to back up or not back up my statements today

HARMEET: That’s good man, because then you can live in delusion.

CARA: Well okay if my ‘siber’ was here. They would say that they would probably

call me out right now for for actually talking about astrology because

I, to be honest, the last year in a bit

just haven’t been feeling the astrology

and I think maybe it’s because I put too much on it in the past

and so I needed to separate myself
and now it’s just fun and like I can talk about it

with some people but when it’s just
like everything. When it’s everything to

someone I just don’t relate, because I’m like- it makes me feel like they’re only seeing me

through a Scorpio lens and then I’m just like there’s more

and it’s maybe not only because of that, you know.

HARMEET: You guys have it bad though man, like you guys do have a bad rap

and it’s just like people don’t get it. You guys are actually very special

and important people. Like I love Scorpios. I’m surrounded by Scorpios all the time

and I think they bring out things in me but I also think there’s a big pressure

as South Asian people, to like, fucking love the Zodiac, like I don’t know why, you know.

And talk about the stars and do the thing and like sometimes it’s just a lot.

It’s a lot, man. Yeah.

CARA: But that is cool, Pree. We’re one day apart.

PREE: Yeah that’s wild. I didn’t even know that.

CARA: That’s nice.

PREE: What was I gonna say? What’re we talking about?

Oh that’s what I was gonna say- okay sorry. I had to rewind.

PREE: I feel like Scorpio is the
best and worst sign like I get it, you know.

I get why it has a bad rap. Like I always say that I’m just like-

I, as a Scorpio, can confirm that it is the best and worst sign

but over to what you were saying about you know, it being that feeling of like it being

everything and that South Asian pressure too like

I had so much like-

There was a time in my life, in my early 20’s, when I just like-

could not engage even in like light-hearted conversations about astrology

because of the ways in which

like my mom wielded it over us, you know,

and it was hard. Like it’s kind of like my cat allergy

which makes it hard for me to be in Queer community sometimes

like I feel like the- astrology just being like an upsetting point of reference

was like actually really hard to navigate at that time and it took a lot of work to be

able to get to a point where like, yeah I can joke about it and I can have co-star and stuff

but so yeah I’m just like empathizing with that. It’s… yeah that’s hard.

CARA: Yeah it’s basically just like it frustrates me sometimes because

well I think generally I’ve been distancing myself from

like… or having a hard time with other people’s perceptions of me

and them projecting those

onto me with such conviction and
it makes me feel like it’s stifling my

ability to be anything else, you know. And like to grow in different ways

and expand, you know.

CARA: So it’s like part of why I cut my hair because like

I don’t have long hair. You can’t say that I have long hair anymore. You can’t. you know

PREE: You’re going through a metamorphosis.

CARA: I think I am.


HARMEET: Wait, why’d you disassociate when you said metamorphosis?

PREE: I’m trying to think about like…

I’m trying to think about like how to ask in a kind and gentle and respectful way

that also leaves space for you to say no but I was trying to think about how to ask like

do you feel comfortable sharing more about that like what were those projections and

limitations but also if that’s a thing that feels too raw or too personal or irrelevant

to talk about right now, we can also not talk about it. It’s totally chill.

CARA: No that’s totally fine I mean it kind of relates to things that I was

thinking about to have this conversation like…

CARA: I guess like we just met each other kind of I would say somewhat recently

maybe it’s been like a year or I don’t know. Maybe not that long even.

Maybe a year but, you know,

and it was in this context of like I think- I can’t remember when it was that we met

but it was in the context of some kind
of like disability arts event or project or

I think we did another like podcast.

PREE: Yeah we were brought together by a producer to do a podcast episode, yeah.

CARA: Right so and it’s like because I’ve been doing so much work like since 2011

is when I kind of started this journey of actively working in what is called Deaf and Disability arts

and working at Tangled art gallery and all that.

and then in the last couple of years freelancing as a consultant

to arts organizations and helping them be more accessible and connecting them with

Disability communities etc.

and I now… so that’s like 10 plus years of that and so now I am trying to shift out of that.

into the unknown like we don’t know where we’re going to go next but we know

that we, and by we I mean me, need to do something else

and it’s a big change because that’s what I’ve been doing.

That’s kind of been my identity in a way my work was like my life and it still kind of is

but like you know for 10 years so, I think that

I’ve just been thinking so much about what the last 10 years and working within

all of those scenes has been and what my
role has been and how I was impacted by that

etc. and so yeah. I am definitely going
through like a big shift and a big change

out of that but… wait what
was your question? Like what did I

what are people projecting? So I guess it’s like, you know, to move out of something

that I’ve been doing for so long into something new and something that

I don’t even know.

It’s been a cool exercise because I
continually get asked to do similar work

like can you be an access coordinator? Can you consult on this?

and I have to say no. I’m making myself say no because I feel that.

That I need to change and it’s been really cool exercise you know drafting these

emails to people and being like I’m
no longer accepting these kinds of

accessibility consulting jobs you know and don’t need to get into information about why

but I’ll help if I can, you know, within that email or within a conversation

but like I’m not-

that’s not me anymore so maybe it’s just
like a little sensitive for me.

Where I’m like, that’s not what I’m doing anymore. I’m impatient, wanting to like…

be this new thing but it’s like
that’s always going to be me and that lives

in me and it’s just gonna be expressed in like this new way which I’m very excited for.

So yeah I think that’s all I’ll say about that but I think it’s

interesting talking to both
of you coming out of that because

I think that it’s telling. Because I still

really am like, I really love you guys. I
know we don’t know each other that well

But like I really feel like a kinship towards you and what you do and how you do it

and I think that this unknown space is that. It’s like me diving into a more creative space.

A space where I feel like it’s true collaboration with folks and where I feel like

my needs are being seen, because I think a lot of that work,

I feel like I’m talking a lot, but like a lot of that work that I was doing for 10 years

was like suppressing a lot of mental health

stuff. To be able to be so productive for so long

and so it’s now I need that space to just like live you know

because I think that I was very good at

supporting others for so long because I was going through my own stuff

so I knew how to hold space for people because I basically was just like

this is how I would want someone to hold space for me

in this environment of like deadlines
and grants and, you know, meetings.

So it’s like yeah. This is how I would want the space to be held for me.

So I would do that for others but kind of neglecting myself and I think that that’s a really…

I would want to hear what you have to say on that as folks who are a bit younger

but still experienced and been doing it for a minute but like hearing that

like what do you think of that?

Yeah don’t do it for too long where you just feel totally burnt out

and like you lost yourself is what I’m trying to say.

HARMEET: Honestly I feel very like- I feel chills while you’re talking about this I know

we’ve talked about this a little bit
like a few months or maybe like two months

back. When we were trying to figure out if we wanted to do that other project

but I’m like a really similar space as you and I think that, yeah, there’s

an age gap between us but it’s like freaky how much like I’ve said these exact same

things to Pree in like a broken record. They’ve had to hear me plan this out

and I think a way that it was possible to do it is because Pree and other chosen family

may be going to through similar transitions and if they aren’t going through similar

transitions- like holding that for me. Because it’s really fucking hard bro

and I think, I don’t know, I had this like realization after some conversations

with my mentor where I was just like all I do is work for other people.

I tell people how to do their projects. I tell people like, you know, you get stuck in the

timelines and the deadlines and also like when you are getting regular work

it makes sense it’s easier right. Like it’s comfortable.

It is challenging but it’s like a good challenge. I can have a metric on how to

succeed in a very different way, whereas the unknown is unprecedented and I actually have to like try I

have to listen to myself and I have to listen to my madness and I have to listen to

when things feel really crazy in
my head and I have to be okay with that

and that feels really scary because if I have a structure in the really intense way that

freelancing stuff does- It’s like not that structured but you know what I mean.

There’s like a structure to freelance. It like grounds you in a particular way

but it can only go for so long and maybe some more context is like I’ve also

done access coordination stuff. We did some together.

But like my arts background- I’ve
been an artist since I was able to pick up

a pencil like that’s my thing and I’ve just been doing so much client work

and I’m like

Comes from a place of scarcity it also comes from growing up really working class

like still being working class
and just like- yeah. But I think I don’t

have any contracts lined up for 2023. Which is scary because like as freelancers

we do that, right. Like every quarter we line it up. I have nothing lined up.

And I’m getting emails of being like do you want to do this and I’m also having to

practice being like no. I thought it just was gonna be easy. I was like okay

I’m transitioning out. Everyone’s gonna know and then I’m gonna focus on my arts practice

for real, for real. It’s gonna be so cute- Was not that. It was having to be like ‘no’

over and over again and the people pleaser in me was like

Oh I actually have to challenge this idea where I can’t just show up into a role

You know. And me and Pree’s chosen sibling, Anu Radha Verma, they’re also like

an organizer and a curator and a conversation we both have as well

is to distract from our madness or our mental health like doing the role

also just feels like survival in a really complicated way and I’m like

I can’t do this anymore man. I want to experiment. I want to fuck up.

I want to be messy. I just want to do my own stuff. I want to collaborate.

I want to figure out like what that means with other artists

like more of that because I also just can’t do one more edit round from a client

if I have to do one more fucking commission bro, like-

It’s over. I can’t do it. I just- I can’t hear feedback from more people

about what I’m doing. I need to actually just listen to myself. Yeah, yeah.

Yeah, man.

PREE: My guys are going through it right now. Oh my gosh.
HARMEET: yeah bro.

HARMEET: No, no, we’re not going through it we’re transforming.

PREE: Metamorphosis.

HARMEET: We’re transforming, yeah metamorphosis. It’s cute. Make it cute.

PREE: Yeah I feel like

PREE: I used to be in Academia and then I worked in tech for a while

and then I moved towards like non-profit world

and then like into I guess arts
administration towards Disability arts

themes and I’ve like started and
maintained the practice along the way

and something that I was thinking
about because I went from…

I freelanced for like almost three years and then went back into working

at a non-profit and

I’ve been at my job now for a year and a half and

something I was saying when I was
applying for jobs again is just like

I think the perfect setup for me is two years on two years off.

So like two years of freelance and then two years of structured work.

Two years of freelance, two years of structured work, because it’s enough

routine for that side of my brain
and then it’s also enough chaos for like

the other side of my brain, where it’s
like- things are going to change.

And I think the constant, the common thing that I need, it has to be meaningful

and it has to be creative. Like I have to be able to be creatively problem solving.

I have to feel like I’m doing something with my time.

like in an existential way- like is this for youth? Is this something for community?

Does this have the potential to like

make a ripple, you know, in a way that is going to be meaningful and I think

I think as someone that

for a majority of my life has been socialized as like the eldest daughter

of immigrant family, you know, type situation.

Not just in like the typical way but in the sense of like

I was thrusted into parenthood and
parentified and parented myself and

raised Harmeet we have almost a
decade gap between us and I think

I think going from just having no needs met as a child to being able to state my needs

And then also figure out how to advocate for myself has been so important to move

from like the survival mindset to like you know thriving and being like this is the

kind of life I want. This is how I want things to be. This is what I want things to look like

has just been so important and I think part of that sometimes does include taking these

risks and I think

and I think that’s where some of that growth comes from and

Yeah as I’m approaching into two years of this role, I’m like what’s next?

I’ve explicitly asked and am working
towards moving into management but

there isn’t a management
position available right now and

I recently joined a board. I interviewed for an ED position a while ago and yeah I’m just

like what is next? Where do I go?

Do I actually want to manage people and things? because that’s more spreadsheets

and like I don’t know. If that is the life for me.

I don’t know so I think I’m on the precipice of being in a similar situation

but I’m honestly really content and grateful right now

I work at a really awesome Org. that is youth led and does really important work for

Indigenous youth and I really love it because it’s a results-oriented workplace

and it’s basically a fancy way of saying and mandating that if you…

if you do all the work that you need to do for the week, you don’t need to be…

you don’t have to rise and grind, every day, all day, 40 hours a week.

And that is so

like that’s like

that’s unheard of. It’s unheard of
right, and as a Disabled person that has to

just ride that ADHD wave when it comes, like when the brain is like

let’s do all the things and to be able to be like I’m gonna do all the things
right now

is something that I wish more people

were able to experience in work and I’m also really grateful that my work has like

really awesome benefits and as a Disabled person that’s on a lot of medication

on a lot of life-sustaining medication. That’s like hundreds of dollars a month

It means that I am able to do this meaningful work and feeling

you know, I’m creating opportunities
for Deaf and Disabled Indigenous youth

to connect with knowledge keepers and that keeps me going on the

day job front and also is making sure that I’m able to accept and reject

creative things or freelance things that are not necessarily the perfect fit and so

that’s where I am right now and I don’t know what’s next or what happens in a year

from now. I’d love to have a conversation like this 12 months from now, to see where

we all are

but yeah I think it’s hard because the world is burning, literally, and

figuratively and we’re just expected to continue to go on like everything is okay.


Just like, something I’ve been thinking about a lot is, and is a conversation

that I was having a lot earlier this
year with one of my really, really

dear friends and community members that passed away this summer

is what are our legacies gonna be, you know. What do we leave behind

as people that are not

either interested or able to or already have children and yeah what what do we

leave behind. What will people remember and at the same time we have to pay

Toronto rent.

also manage our daily things. I don’t know, it’s really hard

but I’m really excited to see like-

where things go for you two. I feel
like we might be in opposite

situations next year I feel like you
all might be settled in your new

butterfly wings and I might
be in my cocoon, I don’t know.

CARA: Yeah.

CARA: I mean I…

I keep thinking about what you’re saying

about the two years on, two years off structure.

Because that’s just not- I haven’t thought about that before

yeah I think like

I feel, I have so many things to say based off what you just said, but like the fact that

we are able- We are surviving in Toronto right now in the kinds of, you know,

interests and work that we do. That is sort of magical

in itself. My younger siblings look at me and are like how are you doing that

you know, because it is really tough

I feel since I have been saying ‘no’ to things I have felt a certain settledness

even though I don’t know what’s coming I feel okay with it, because when you

clear space, when you make space,

in your mind and in, you know, your physical space and your mind and with the

work stuff it was a risk and it is scary but a lot of new things have come to me

so one of the things that I didn’t want to do, why I didn’t want to continue on this path

was because of how much screen time it had. Like always on the computer

and on the phone and then on the zoom and it was like

too much I was just like this can’t be
all. Can’t be it. Or like I go to a cafe

and then

I pull out my laptop. That’s the night that’s like “ooh we’re going to have fun today”

and like go to a cafe and work and everyone else is on

their laptops too and I’m like this is just so depressing. This is so sad…

and I understand that that’s what is happening with work right now

but I just didn’t want the screens. I wanted to be more in my body and

using my body and so

yeah since I’ve

been trying to switch up the work stuff I thought, okay, try to do things

that doesn’t involve the screens right,

and I remembered I had these two girlfriends who are handy people

Like do contracting and renovations and they’re just bad asses

and I hit them both up

back to back like “Hi, going through like a early midlife crisis, need you to help.”

or I was like can I just shadow you or
just apprentice, like can you teach me how

to, I don’t know, drywall or whatever it is you do over there

and they both hit me back so fast and we’re like ‘yes’

You know? And it was so confirming- so affirming

because since then I’ve literally been working with them for the last couple of  weeks.

HARMEET: Bro that’s amazing.

PREE: What!?

HARMEET: That’s amazing, man.

CARA: It is and it’s just like-

clearing the space. It did everything. I could have had that idea two years ago but

I didn’t have the capacity to even
think about what I wanted, you know.

Or what I didn’t want. So I just say that to say, yeah,

even though I’m in the middle of change, I do feel comfortable and I don’t feel like

I’m spiralling yet… maybe it’s coming…

PREE: Yo, who are these two friends?

PREE: I don’t know if I want to be them or I want to be with them but I just like

CARA: Okay so, one is- I don’t think they would mind, anna daisy paul

HARMEET: That’s a sick name.

PREE: That is a sick name.

CARA: She learned from
her father who-

PREE: The three genders Anna, Daisy, and Paul.

CARA: Oh that’s amazing. Yeah she just learned from her father who is like

that’s what he did all his life. He’s in his mid-70s he’s still doing it and you know

He’s an immigrant from Jamaica and she’s a sister of my friend Liza Paul

who works in theatre.

So yeah, her and then my friend
Mariko Nguyen

who I went to high school with.

And played basketball with and you know, yeah it’s interesting

hanging out with someone who I’ve known
from high school so many years later.

It’s been really therapeutic
let’s just say, doing stuff with your hands

with someone who’s known you when you’re like a little kid basically you know.

and yeah it’s very fun so that’s
what’s happening. Let’s see.

HARMEET: I love that. This also sounds very gay, all of it, basketball, carpentry

and actually me and Pree come from a family of carpenters/artists

and one of our- we both have one of the same best friends their name is Cass.

Or Mize

and when we first started to get to know them Mize was just like I need to work

with my hands and they said really similar things to you. They’re like I just need to feel

my body. I need to work with my hands and I just want to build stuff and I just want to do it

and I was like, I’m there with you, and I think we’re gonna try to do some carpentry stuff

in the summer and just try to see. I might even just buy like old wooden chairs

from Facebook Marketplace
or like leather shirts because I do textile art

and I might refurbish them and paint them, like hand paint them, stain them, and just try to like-

do that because I’m also trying to
figure out how to make art outside of

monetization. That feels really important for me. Actually to like feel-

especially as disabled artists right, you got to make everything have money in some way

because it’s expensive to be disabled but I really want something just for myself just

like for me to see and maybe my friends.

That’s it. Yeah man.

CARA: Follow it. See where it goes. HARMEET: Yeah.

HARMEET: Let’s build chairs together, bro.

CARA: Oh my gosh. I would love to.

HARMEET: Let’s fucking do it.
CARA: I would love to. Please invite me and yeah

CARA: I wanna learn that stuff too, yeah.

PREE: Cara, I have an autistic question

PREE: How old are you?

CARA: I’m 36.

HARMEET: Really? You look young as hell, man.

PREE: You’re almost- like we’re almost spaced out evenly

because Harmeet’s 8 years younger than me and I turned 31 this year

CARA: Okay.

PREE: Yeah

HARMEET: How is that even. I have dyslexia explain this to me.

PREE: Oh because-

HARMEET: What kind of Desi math is this?

PREE: I’ll explain, I’ll explain okay. For me you’re eight years younger than me right?


PREE: That’s like a decade

and then Cara’s 36, that’s like rounding up to 40, so that’s also like a decade.

CARA: Hey! wait!

HARMEET: Hold on, man.

PREE: So Harmeet, you’re getting rounded down to 20. I’m at 31 and then Cara

gets rounded up to 40 and then we’re spaced out evenly

HARMEET: See this is what I mean, this is Desi Uncle math.

this is a Desi Uncle math like that one

PREE: Is it when you measure things with your hand?

PREE: I was painting a mural and I had to space some things out and I was like measuring

things with my wingspan the other day
and I was like ‘I have become my parents’

HARMEET: Also Mr. Bean. I don’t know if you remember that episode where he uses his fingers

to measure everything out. That guy was a Crip icon we need to talk about it.

That was a cultural moment that people are
trying to forget and I’ll never let

people forget Mr. Bean. Love that guy. I love that guy

PREE: So Cara, you’re just like yeah-

PREE: I’m out here fucking learning how to drywall and I think there’s something about…

I think the further I get from like my teens, early 20s, I feel like there’s a less

fucks given, more connecting with
your inner child, more connecting with like

what do I actually- like watch the status quo in a way that is just so sick

CARA: Yes, yes. Thanks. Yes, because the status quo is gaining momentum

PREE: Big Pharma

HARMEET: I don’t like how you pulled that out of your pocket so quick, man.

You’re waiting all day to say that statement.

PREE: All year, make it all year.

HARMEET: Also I didn’t respond to something you said 40 minutes ago

but I remembered just now.

was that you were saying stuff about kinship and feeling kinship with each other

and I just wanted to say same. I feel that too. I also think that

I know it’s a short amount of time but I was like I’ve known this guy

forever. I don’t know how to explain that, but that’s very that.

And I think the other piece is that I don’t feel-

I think something really
magical that happens between like Deaf

and Mad and Disabled friendships or intimacies is that you do have your own

timeline of learning each other or like unraveling with each other and I never feel

the pressure with you, to be like I need to know everything about Cara

I’m like, I’m gonna find out when I find out, and we’ll do the discovering together

and that feels really supportive and nice because I do think sometimes as a

respectability around friendships that I don’t really a fuck about

So yeah.

PREE: You’re a good egg Cara, you know. There’s something Harmeet and I talk about

often something that you really model and something that Anu, who we mentioned

earlier really
modelled, which is you just have this

How do I say this-

HARMEET: I think it’s like a playful curiosity is that what-

PREE: Playful curiosity yeah. The thing that was coming to mind was like childlike

PREE: wonder but that wasn’t quite right.

HARMEET: That too though.

PREE: playful curiosity and also just this…

it’s almost like an extension of assuming the best of people but the way that it comes

out is that

you’ve been doing this work since 2011 you know, Harmeet was like a fetus at that time.

HARMEET: Yo man. I don’t know why you’re putting me on blast

every two minutes man. Everybody relax.

PREE: and I feel like you could really be a dick about things, you could really be a dick about things,

you could really be ageist about
things. You could really be like

I’m the big shot

guy like I put you guys on. I made Tangled you know, like that mindset

but you’re really out here. I’m just a little guy. I’m just playing basketball with

my high school friend and I’m just trying to figure out my stuff and

you’re also just like how are you doing things. I want to collaborate. I want to know

and I think that there’s just like a really-

I think there’s something about the fact that you’re like I’m still learning, I’m still

knowing, you know, there’s conversations to be had that’s just

something really wonderful about
you that I just really appreciate like

I remember when we met through that previous podcast episode they were like

“Oh there’s this person Cara Eastcott” they gave me all your credentials and

I was like oh my God firstly this sounds like a white lady, secondly I was like oh my God

this is gonna be so like-

HARMEET: not a white in-sight. Just Cara.

PREE: I was so scared and then there we were, similar to now,

except I wasn’t lying down

and of course I brought Harmeet on too. I was like “yo this is my guy”

and we’re gonna talk about Disabled things. My roommate sibling Harmeet is coming too

and then that’s how we all met initially and I don’t know

I just really appreciate you and I think that

Yeah, I love you too. You’re sick.

HARMEET: Yeah, I remember when Pree told me about you before I jumped on the call.

I think we’re trying to figure out if we’re gonna work together. I was like this is not

gonna go well. Like I have no fucking idea what I’m doing.

I was in my hot mess era. I just was not feeling it and then I talked to you

and I was like that was
wonderful and a big thing that I think stuck

with me from that experience with you

Was that like-

I don’t know, you asked me questions assuming

that I also knew the answer and I think that’s something I actually struggle with

because oftentimes I’m the youngest person in a lot of spaces and also like I am

pretty relaxed and I don’t do well with authority. So there’s just an assumption that

I don’t know what I’m doing.

I didn’t feel that with you and it was
actually really supportive for me and it also

helped me think through, I don’t know,

I don’t have this like formal experience of doing access so I don’t know what I’m doing

but I also think in that experience I was like I do.

I was my aunt’s caretaker for my whole life and I was Disabled, she was Disabled,

we come from an intergenerationally Disabled family

and I think working with you gave me a lot of room to be like, there’s actually a lot of

knowledge I have about hacking access in a collective way

It’s a part of my lineage and I don’t have to explain that

I can just show up. That was really nice, so thanks for modelling that for me.

CARA: Oh okay, thanks. Yes…

HARMEET: This guy’s having Scorpio feels, man.

CARA: Thank you. I mean I feel like I definitely am very curious

and learn, I love

older people and I learn so much from so many different older people like Audrey

who started b current, this theatre company you know,

she was someone who was like very

influential to just the way that I
am and you know she’s an elder.

she was an elder then and she’s, you
know, an elder now and

there is such a

Yeah I never feel like she’s the big shot and I’m like the little kid she never treated

me like that, you know. Even though I definitely was like a little punk

when I met her.

I didn’t deserve that kind of treatment but I think that, yeah

I think that it’s a lot of the people who kind of brought me up in this.

They are probably the ones to thank but yeah, I mean and I love what you said

or mean about just like oh yeah you did have that

previous knowledge of you know access creating accessible spaces you weren’t

calling it that, you know, but you were caring for whatever

and I feel like that’s
what sort of missing right now in this whole


HARMEET: yeah man

CARA: -hiring like access people.
They’re missing the point in a way

that it’s not really a position you yourself should be doing that too

everyone in your organization.

Working from this place of thinking,
you know, of creating a space that is

supporting everybody’s needs essentially. It shouldn’t be one person. And

there isn’t one way to do it. It is instinctual it is like something you need every individual

needs to learn on their own, in their own way, based on their strengths

you know and characteristics.

You’ll develop your own approach
to creating accessible spaces

HARMEET: Exactly

So that’s why I also don’t feel bad kind of like backing away slowly

because I’m like it’s your turn. You should-

HARMEET: -figure it out.

CARA: And it’s a lifelong thing. This is not an 18-month contract.

HARMEET: Exactly.

CARA: You have to just do this for your life and go on the-

and you know I am still learning, you know.


I feel like I’m blushing from all your comments but like the feeling is just

really mutual and

I feel like a lot of just creativity with you both in a way that is- It does bring

out the playfulness and fun and I mean that’s what I want to be like when I’m

much older as well, you know.


CARA: Yeah.

HARMEET: I just want to play. I wanna fuck around and find out.

CARA: Yeah. I think that’s a good

place to end.

HARMEET: I agree. Good work, boys.

PREE: A plus.

HARMEET: A plus.


HARMEET: Guys we all have to give a collective kiss to whoever’s watching and listening



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About the Author

With firm footing in performing arts practice and community building, I'm curious and passionate about change, systems, and participation. I'm a producer and an artist. I value collaboration, efficiency, and resourcefulness. Currently Artistic Director of Kingston-based SpiderWebShow Performance, which includes co-curating and producing the Festival of Live Digital Art (FOLDA). During eight years as Artistic Producer of Neworld Theatre, I collaborated with colleagues to found PL 1422, a shared rehearsal and administration hub in East Vancouver, as well as shepherding the creation and production of over 80 live events – including a series of 11 "podplays" audio plays before podplays were cool. In 2015, I was the inaugural artist in residence on CBC Radio’s q based on my digital project The Apology Generator. My formal training is in arts creation and producing, and I have practical experience managing production projects, festivals, and special events. I'm functionally bilingual in English and French. I'm a parent, a gardener, a cook and have recently started running.