1. Can you tell us the origin story behind Sanaa and how you got involved?
My old housemate Yaya (@yayabeybay) started Sanaa a few years ago to bring awareness of the abuse gentrification does to the people of its city by displacing them and making the cost of living overly priced and unattainable for the people born there and as a way to give back to those who have been displaced by collecting canned goods as a donation for entry into the event. As a native New Yorker whose family slowly one by one had to leave the state as gentrification rose, I felt connected to Yaya and her mission with Sanaa when she moved into my building and I admire her passion in everything she does so I wanted to get involved and help keep Sanaa going after we all moved out of our old place. House parties are a great way to bring people together in an authentic way as opposed to clubs or bars and the least we could do as gentrifiers is find ways to give back to the community we’ve displaced.
2. Why is mutual aid important for the future you aspire to create?
Mutual aid is important because it’s really up to us to be able to lean on one another if we want to survive as a society. None of us are ok unless all of us are ok and any support big or small can go a long way. Mutual aid can build a community where those in need are not afraid to ask for help from others.
3. What does community mean to you?
Community means being involved with the people around you. Taking time to engage with and support what’s happening in the area you live in. Helping each other move in a positive direction.
4. Where do you draw inspiration during your writing process?
I draw inspiration mainly from my own life (My past, present, and the kind of future I envision), the people around me, and my city. I inspire me because I try to make sure I live a life full of compelling experiences as a part of my own self-discovery and I don’t mind sharing that journey with the rest of the world. New York, Brooklyn to be specific is also full of inspiring people who are all their own special kind of characters so I’m always excited to meet new people and represent them in my work.
5. What is in heavy rotation on your playlist right now?
I’ve been in a disco vibe all summer and recently fell in love with 80’s Italian disco. “Stop Bajon” by Tullio De Piscopo has had a hold on me for weeks.