‘Occupying the Master’s House’ With Ananya Roy

On what it means to be a “double agent” as activists, educators, and instigators of social change

Douglas Rushkoff
Apr 3 · 2 min read

Listen to this story

--:--

--:--

Playing for Team Human today, professor, scholar, and activist Ananya Roy. Ananya will be showing us how the fight for global social justice often begins at home.

Roy has been working with Occupy Wall Street’s Micah White (Team Human Ep. 04) on a course about housing inequality for the Activist Graduate School, and is a professor of Urban Planning and Social Welfare at UCLA, where she is also director of the Institute on Inequality and Democracy. Her book Poverty Capital: Microfinance and the Making of Development unearthed the counter-revolutionary agenda embedded in many so-called “development” programs. She looks at global poverty from a truly global perspective, which sometimes means the inequality in our own back yards and highway underpasses.

In this conversation, Ananya and Douglas explore what it means to be a “double agent” as activists, educators, and instigators of social change. Ananya shares wisdom on the ways we might overcome our compromised positions as situated in systems of colonial, racial, and economic oppression . She asks us to imagine how these spaces of contradiction and complicity might be transformed into spaces of empowerment. While “the master’s tools will not dismantle the master’s house, the master’s tools can certainly occupy the master house.”

Join Douglas and Ananya for this master class poverty, housing, student activism, and the everyday work of building solidarity in our community and beyond.

Today’s show opens with a monologue looking at the cycle of technological innovation as it relates to the human condition. “Our media and technologies have been undermining our social bonds for centuries. So, what’s different now? Is this digital alienation the same thing amplified, or is something else going on?”

Check out Douglas’s regular column on Medium, featuring expanded versions of the monologues you hear each week opening the show.

On this episode you heard Fugazi’s “Foreman’s Dog” in the intro thanks to the kindness of the band and Dischord Records. Mid-show you heard R.U. Sirius’s President Mussolini Makes the Planes Run On Time and Throbbing Gristle’s “Walkabout” (See Team Human Episode 67 with Genesis Breyer P-Orridge.) Our outro features the Mike Watt’s beak-holding-letter-man.

Order Team Human the book and manifesto, now available everywhere!

Pete Forsyth [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)]

Douglas Rushkoff

Written by

Author of the upcoming book Team Human, and host of the http://TeamHuman.fm podcast.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade