If you’re a denizen of the Latina feminist digital sphere, you’ve undoubtedly come across this week’s #WCW, Nazly Sobhi Damasio.
The Persian-venezolana is the brilliance behind La Feminista Descolonial, a Spanish-language intersectional feminista platform, and an active member of chingona networks like Latina Rebels, Necia Media Collective and Travel Latina.
When the Panama-based 28-year-old isn’t pushing for a feminism that’s inclusive of trans and queer people of color, calling out anti-blackness in Latinx media or waving her middle finger at respectability politics, she’s teaching yoga as a form of radical self-care.
Here’s how Nazly crushes the patriarchy, among other oppressive systems, online and on the ground.
Tell our readers a little more about you and your work.
I am someone who wears lots of different hats, from organizer and violinist to translator/interpreter and yoga instructor, to, as of more recently, a poet and writer. I’ve been performing as a violinist since I was 10, and now I teach violin to nenxs. I also teach yoga and am working on creating a Spanish-language yoga curriculum so that it can be more accessible to non-English-speaking folxs. I’d like to eventually create one in Farsi and Arabic, too. I teach yoga from a trauma-based framework and use it as a tool for radical self-care and healing for myself and the communities I have the privilege to work with.
You founded La Feminista Descolonial in 2015. What can you tell us about that platform and what you hope to accomplish with it?
La Feminista Descolonial es "una plataforma virtual feminista que busca facilitar el activismo en nuestras comunidades de una perspectiva antiracista, antiopresiva, y descolonizar.” I created La Feminista Descolonial as a space for Spanish-speaking folxs to have access to resources and share information about feminism, anti-racism, queer/trans rights and more. Eventually, I would like it to become a worldwide solidarity network for Spanish-speaking folxs to share events, meetings, marches and protests as well as create a library of resource guides around feminism, anti-blackness, queer/trans issues, how to deal with the police, legal recourse, contacts and, most importantly, self-care and healing guides in Spanish for people to be able to use as needed. I’m hoping to eventually create something similar for folxs within the Iranian diaspora in English and Farsi, but that’s another project for a different time.
Why is a space like La Feminista Descolonial necessary in the Spanish language?
Because there aren’t anywhere near enough spaces, programs or resources that cater to the non-English-speaking people and, in this case, Spanish speakers. Many native English-speaking people don’t find it to be essential to make sure Spanish translation/interpretation is provided in every setting and space, for every website, flyer or document. I’ve worked in social justices spaces with a huge population of Spanish-speaking members, and we have absolutely no material or information to share with them in their native tongue. This is super xenophobic, exclusionary and not strategically sound, and it also places an extra burden on those of us who do speak the language. It’s completely unacceptable.
You are also an active member of Latina Rebels, another online Latinx feminist platform. Why is it important for you to build and align yourself with organizations and movements for social change that challenge ideas of respectability?
I don’t ever want to be a part of any social justice work that is threatened by or tries to shame anyone for who they are and how they present themselves to the world. For so many of us, our existence is a deliberate act of resistance and should be celebrated and uplifted. If you don’t get that and would rather engage in the nonsense of respectability politics, you have absolutely no business being a part of any movement or social justice organization. The different platforms I’m a part of are all spaces that emulate unapologetic and radical politics, whether explicitly saying “f**k you” to your imposed ideas of Latinidad, decolonizing travel or creating multimedia through a critical social justice sense. Additionally, these spaces have cultivated a community of unapologetic chingonxs with on-point politics that I am grateful to know, work alongside with, learn from and be inspired to live in my unapologetic truth daily.
Read more on page 2>>>