Remaking the World with Samira Rajabi

The pandemic broke our understanding of the world. How do we put the pieces together again? Samira Rajabi joins us to point the way—and it all starts with getting comfortable “sitting in the shit” with each other.

Samira Rajabi is a researcher, writer, and assistant professor of media studies at the University of Colorado. Her work focuses on the intersection of trauma, social media, disability studies, and feminist theory, and her book, All My Friends Live in My Computer: Tactical Media, Trauma and Meaning Making, came out earlier this year.

I think this impulse to compare comes from this sense that what you're going through is not legible to other people. So we often sort of demean our own suffering because we don't think that it's worthy in the eyes of society, or culture, or our peer group. I think the way to cope with that is to listen better. So rather than being in a space, where it's like, "Oh, you say you're suffering? Well, listen to my suffering," it's, "How might I hear what you're saying with a recognition of who you are, and where you're coming from, and what you need in the moment, and then also offer my testimony about where I am, and what I need, and who I am in the moment?"

—Samira Rajabi, author, All My Friends Live in My Computer

We talk about:

  • How Samira’s desire to understand her own experiences with trauma led her to working at the intersection of gender, disability, and  media studies
  • How a brain tumor diagnosis and treatment led Samira to find online community, and how that community helped her process grief and trauma
  • Why comparing trauma is futile, and how to “sit in the shit” with the people in our lives instead 
  • The politics of trauma and traumatic experiences, and how power plays a role in who gets access to care
  • What ambiguous grief is and why it matters

Plus: in this week’s You’ve Got This, Sara offers ideas for how to listen more deeply and stop trying to “fix” things for the people in our lives. For more tools and practice tips for staying  present to others’ pain, head over to https://www.activevoicehq.com/podcast.

Links: