Podcast: Overcoming the Trauma of Caste w/ Thenmozhi Soundararajan, Rhythima Shinde and Vivek Ramachandran

This is a conversation with Thenmozhi Soundararajan, the author of ‘The Trauma of Caste: A Dalit Feminist Meditation on Survivorship, Healing and Abolution’. She is a Dalit American commentator on religion, race, caste, gender, technology and justice.

She is also the Executive Director of Equality Labs.

We were joined by my friends Rhythima Shinde (who is also Dalit) and Vivek Ramachandran. They both read the book and helped me greatly in the research for this episode, so during one of our chats I asked if they can come on and they gracefully agreed. The result was amazing, as I think you’ll agree.

Where to listen

All episodes are first released on Patreon, and you can get them on your Podcast feed by copy-pasting the RSS that appears at the bottom of your page when you join (here’s how) as soon as they’re up. Patreons get episodes anywhere from weeks to days in advance.

The conversation is available on any podcast app such as Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotifyAnchorBreakerAmazon MusicAudibleStitcherRadio PublicPocket CastsCastro and RSS. Just type in ‘The Fire These Times’ and you can subscribe directly there.

It is also on YouTube. At the moment the YouTube page is not being updated but it will be in the near future.

Mentions and Recommendations

I also mentioned the Conspirituality podcast as that’s where I first heard of Thenmozhi

How to Support

The Fire These Times is independent. Since March 2020, I’ve produced weekly episodes averaging anywhere from 60 to 110 minutes.

With a small amount donated monthly or yearly, you can help expand this project into video essays, public panels, newsletters and more. I also wish to release episodes twice a week. Your support can be for as little as $2 or $5 a month or $20 or $50 a year, which is what most people contribute.

The best way to do so is through Patreon, which will also give you early access to audio episodes, exclusive video episodes, merchandise, monthly hangouts, access to the upcoming book club and more.

But there are also options through PayPal or Ko-fi.com, or BuyMeACoffee.com, .

If you can’t support financially, you can still help get more listeners to this podcast by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Castbox, Podchaser, Podcast Addict or wherever you listen to podcasts.

How to Follow to Get Updates

I’m currently in the process of re-orienting this project away from a dependency on the social media corporations as I find the algorithm they use unethical, not to mention their predatory business practices.

The most reliable ways to get updates of The Fire These Times are through directly subscribing on your favorite app podcast, Patreon, on this website, or via RSS.


I sometimes update on Mastodon, and other times friends of the pod update on Twitter & Instagram 

The best way to reach out to me is simply by email at thefirethesetimes@gmail.com

Episode Credits

Host: Joey Ayoub
Producer: Joey Ayoub
Music: Rap and Revenge
Main theme design: Wenyi Geng
Sound editor: Ibrahim Youssef
Episode design: Joey Ayoub


I’m re-sharing, with permission, some feedback provided.

Want to share feedback? contact@thefirethesetimes.com

Hello Joey,

I hope all is well. Thank you for the work you do to share such essential and dream-filled media into our world! I also wanted to reply to the latest episode “Overcoming the Trauma of Caste” as it sparked so much.

Firstly, you mentioned a little girl who had to be escorted into a school that was being integrated in Lousiana. That little girl was Ruby Bridges! She remains a Civil Rights Activist and Racial Justice Educator today, working to purge racism from the hearts and minds of children. She’s featured in this renowned painting by Norman Rockwell titled The Problem We All Live With.

I was deeply moved by the stories and perspectives shared on this episode. As a poet, writer, and organizer who was born and raised under urban apartheid in America, I have experienced firsthand the ways in which systems of oppression can stifle access to basic necessities like clean air, water, stable housing, and fresh food to eat. Moreover, they diminish our sense of self, and in my life, if it wasn’t for the encouragement of my teachers (parents and otherwise), I wouldn’t of thought much for the possibility of my life. The statistics against the survival of kids like me were at times all to overwhelming.

Listening to comrades who have either themselves or their families been socialized in a different but similar system across the world, and who are now working to reclaim their identities and build movements of solidarity and support, was inspiring. I am especially encouraged by the connections that are being built between our communities which can sometimes feel disparate or disconnected.

After listening to this episode, I feel even more compelled to use my voice as a poet and writer to advocate for healing and liberation through solidarity. I have upcoming writing and poetry that centers around issues of caste, apartheid, and climate struggle, and I believe that these topics are crucial to amplify and explore further.

If you are ever looking to feature poetic interludes during the intermissions of your podcast episodes, I would be honored to offer my voice in this way and give back to the show that has been such an inspiring force for me.

Thank you again for all that you do to elevate important conversations and perspectives on the global struggles for liberation, solarpunk and afrofutures!

With much love and peace,

jawno okhiulu (any pronouns)

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