Joy Is an Act of Resistance: Paola Mendoza

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By CTZNWELL and Kerri Kelly. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

In our conversation, Paola Mendoza talks about our capacity to hold two truths at the same time. And she really embodies that. She is relentless in her resistance to the racist policies of this administration, to defending and protecting the undocumented community, and to fighting for the freedom and wellbeing of women and children.

But she is simultaneously passionate in her expression, ecstatic in song and dance, and generous in her love as an organizer and mother. And she shows us that we can be many things at the same time. We need to be.

If this episode resonates for you, we’d love for you to take a screenshot and tag us on Instagram stories @ctznwell and @paolamendoza, and click below to tweet:

"Without joy, you can only resist for so long before you break." @paolamendoza on #CTZN Podcast with @kkellyyoga @ctznwell ctznwell.org/ctznpodcast #joyisanactofresistance @resistancerev

More about this episode:

Paola Mendoza – filmmaker, author, mother, and resistor - is taking on some of the biggest issues facing humanity, and she believes that artists have a unique and essential role in catalyzing change and opening the heart of America.

In this episode, Paola talks about the essential role of joy in our activism. And I've struggled with this, especially as a white, cisgender, straight person, with lots of privilege points. My activism has been intense and serious and sacrificial. I didn't give myself permission for joy. I was righteous in my commitment, but I was constantly burned out and tired. I became snarky and cynical, and I forgot how to have fun.

What I learned from Paola, and what I'm starting to practice myself, is that joy itself is an act of resistance. In our conversation, Paola said, "Without joy, you can only resist for so long before you break." And communities on the front lines are really modeling this.

Joy is the medicine. It keeps us resilient, it keeps us inspired, and it keeps us going. When we claim our joy, it is a radical act of defiance. In it, we affirm our existence and worthiness. Our expression in and of itself is disruptive to the status quo that tries to get us to be complicit and conform. When we sing and dance and draw and sculpt, we are shaping a new story of what is possible for ourselves and one another. One that is centered in love, justice, and interdependence.

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