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a photo of Zahra Crim

Zahra Crim

New Voices '22

Tell us about yourself:

I’m a twenty-something year old who’s lived in Florida, Georgia, New York, Vermont, and most recently – Texas! My obsession with chronicling oral history has been with me for nearly 15 years and outside of audio, I’ve been involved with prison abolition, the memorialization of African American presence across the USA, Asian American representation, and the Land Back movement. In my free time, I’m at the skatepark on my rollerskates, practicing guitar, or learning some sort of new technique in fiber art. I also love a good tale about “evil” women and femmes in folklore.

A piece of yours or project (in any medium) that you'd like to share.

I love every episode I work on at my job, but recently had a more heavy hand producing an episode about racialized fatphobia with Sabrina Strings and an episode about Black disability politics with Sami Schalk that I’m particularly proud of :+) I’m also very excited for an episode I’m working out coming out as the last new episode of 2022, but I can’t say more than that until it’s out!

What draws you to storytelling?

My family is a blend of immigrants and forced diaspora by way of being Chinese, Black, and Native American so if we wanted our stories to survive, we *have* to tell them. My senior thesis sought to piece together family history, despite the language barrier and lack of historical documents, and proved to me that “storytelling” is also about how we tell the stories, who we are sharing them with, where the telling takes place, and what we do with them once they’re in our hands. I want to find ways to take that intimacy and pass them around with care.

What excites you the most about being a New Voices Scholar?

I graduated with my B.A. in 2020, so I felt like such a small fish in a very, very large sea. I knew what I wanted to achieve, but never had the mentors or community to teach and support me along the way. My fellow cohort members are immensely talented and the AIR community is equally as electrifying, so I’m grateful to be surrounded by such amazing people who are willing to share their experiences with little ole me.

What’s playing on your radio/audio streaming service right now?

I’m catching up on Self Evident, Immaterial, and various episodes of Mytholadies. As for music, I’m really enjoying the resurgence of femmes of color in the punk rock/grunge scene with Meet Me @ The Altar, Mint Green, and Pinkshift. More often, though, I’m listening to KUTX!

What’s the most underrated tool (technical or not) that you use in your creative process?

Tool? Zooooooming in while cutting tape to get that perfect place to snip. But actually, I think there needs to be multiple mediums to express your ideas – paper + pen, talking it out to yourself (or a friend) while on a walk, etc. A lot of us spend an absurd amount of time staring at a screen (or two!) so giving our eyes a break can help heal burnout more than you’d think!

What is something you want to see more of in the industry?

I’m looking forward to the creative ways that we source our stories – over the past few years, we’ve had to shake up how we collect interviews and how we find the people we want to speak to. As we diversify who is desaturating who makes up the industry and sharing stories, we manage to care for stories, the people who tell them, and how they are told in a new, beautiful, and instrumental way. This is only the start!!

Who/What are your radio/audio inspirations and why?

Oh, geez. I’m always playing a game of catch up when it comes to listening to new and loved shows, but I’m endlessly inspired and motivated by the gender diverse people of color in the radio and audio space. A lot of my favorite works are by multidisciplinary artists and scholars, so I love listening to a piece that is clearly drawn from different mediums and aspire to be just as multidimensional as that!

Anything else you'd like to add?

A lot of holidays are coming up! Try to take the time to get involved with your community and provide the support and mutual aid that you can afford. Thank you for taking the time to read this <3