We had the good fortune of connecting with Los Angeles Spoonie Collective and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Los Angeles Spoonie Collective, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
We started the Los Angeles Spoonie Collective because there wasn’t another organization that offered what we need as a disabled peoples. The Los Angeles area didn’t really have a Disability Justice based organization and many organizations in the area excluded, marginalized and made disabled, neurodiverse, and chronically ill people feel unwelcome. We wanted an organization that centered our voices, and that practiced healthy activism that put our community and selves before profit or productivity. Also we wanted to create a group that validated people from diverse identities, and showed how the marginal identities we hold impacted and were impacted by our disabilities.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The work of our collective’s art like our organization came out of a need for representation and for our narratives to be heard. As disabled people we constantly face barriers of accessibility and representation, and art created by and for the community is one of the ways we work through these barriers. Our art takes on many forms including: Zines and independent publishing, healing and herbalism, drawings and paintings, storytelling and poetry, writing and podcasts, and crafts and personal toolkits. Developing a narrative, and being vulnerable enough to present it to the world is difficult, but we have found in our work that it is extremely supportive and affirming to share ourselves with the world. We have also found that it is far less difficult than feeling like we don’t have a voice, or a place to share our authentic selves. We want to be transparent about who we are, what our needs are, and the value that we bring to the world.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
For us it would always be important that before we planned an outing that we understand our friends needs and capacity. There are so many incredible book/comic stores in Los Angeles such as Veroman’s, Secret Headquarters, Comic’s Factory, Earth Two Comics, the Last Book store, Other Books, Comics, and Zines, and the Iliad Bookstore. Their are so many incredible restaurants including Mother Indian, Woodlands Indian, Mercado las palomas, Canter’s deli, and Lum-Ka-Naad. Their are also so many parks and wild places in Los Angeles, and we love local places like Amoeba music and the Griffith Carousel. Where and how much we would go though would be entirely based on the accessibility of places and the needs and capacity of our friend.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
We wanted to shout out a number of incredible organizations including: Reclaim UGLY (https://reclaimugly.org/) a healing and helping organization that fights Uglification, Sins Invalid (https://www.sinsinvalid.org/) a performing arts and disability justice organization that that helped to spear head the second wave of the disability rights movement, Fireweed Collective (https://fireweedcollective.org/) the Phoenix that rose from the Icarus Projects ashes to promote mental health through a healing and disability justice lens, and Mirror Memoirs a group dedicated to LGBTQIA+ survivors of color with work dedicated to healing, empowerment, and prevention. We also want to shout out some of our amazing Disability Justice podcasts, websites, and blogs such as: http://www.powernotpity.com/
Lilac, System Hatfield, Tasha, Sade, Laurent, Prince Bri