Guapa by Saleem Haddad
Set over the course of twenty-four hours, Guapa follows Rasa, a gay man living in an unnamed Arab country, as he tries to carve out a life for himself in the midst of political and social upheaval. Rasa spends his days translating for Western journalists and pining for the nights when he can sneak his lover, Taymour, into his room. One night Rasa’s grandmother — the woman who raised him — catches them in bed together. The following day Rasa is consumed by the search for his best friend Maj, a fiery activist and drag queen star of the underground bar, Guapa, who has been arrested by the police. Ashamed to go home and face his grandmother, and reeling from the potential loss of the three most important people in his life, Rasa roams the city’s slums and prisons, the lavish weddings of the country’s elite, and the bars where outcasts and intellectuals drink to a long-lost revolution. Each new encounter leads him closer to confronting his own identity, as he revisits his childhood and probes the secrets that haunt his family. As Rasa confronts the simultaneous collapse of political hope and his closest personal relationships, he is forced to discover the roots of his alienation and try to re-emerge into a society that may never accept him.
Bartees Cox is a songwriter and producer who spent years playing in bands in Brooklyn before making the move to Washington, DC, where his solo project, Bartees Strange, took focus and grew - from an album of reinterpretations of The National’s music to his stunning full-length, genre-bending… | watch
Joyful Noise Recordings is an Indianapolis-based eclectic indie label begun in 2003 by Karl Hofstetter. In this episode, we'll hear a ton of great music from the label's releases, along with an interview with Karl where we cover the label's beginnings, the importance of physical art objects, and how… | listen
#StopAsianHate! Do we need to say more? Yes, we do—with music & resources. | read