Health Autonomy

...at the end of empire

About the show

This way of life is a war against our bodies. The air polluting our lungs, our breast milk filled with toxins, and our mental angst driving us to suicide. Proposed health cuts increase our general precarity in relation to a failing health system, a health system that fundamentally furthers our objectification and dependency on capital. Therefore the steps we make to gain and share skills and develop subterranean practices of care can return some of the agency we’ve lost to the professionalization of medicine and the profitable mystery that is our bodies.

As we think about expanding our capacity, we don’t want to just “fill in the gaps” of public health infrastructure. We need to slowly break our dependence on these institutions in all the ways that we can and also look for ways to use them to our advantage. We think this happens through sharing knowledge and skills, an emphasis on preventative care, and finding ways to manipulate existing structures to allow us to move forward on this path of autonomy. We believe in the utter necessity of revolution, of the development of material lines of power. Questions of care and health autonomy are pivotal to that progression.

From the Greek solidarity clinics to the Zapatistas “healthcare from below” to Black Panther Clinics and GynPunks, there is inspiration for this path all around us. We begin by finding each other. This podcast will be a step in that journey.

Health Autonomy on social media

Episodes

  • Episode 8: Episode 8: No Borders, Migrant Housing Squats, and the Commons in Greece

    September 28th, 2018  |  1 hr 1 min
    activism, autonomy, borders, care, commons, greece, greek, health, housing, idomeni, left, migrant, radical, squatting

    In this interview, we talk with Haris, participant in No Borders, migrant housing squats, and an anarchist collective in Thessaloniki. He discusses these experiences and the contribution of current autonomous Greek and migrant struggles with the broader desire for the Commons as an alternative to the neoliberalization of Greece. We explore the impact of Greek anti-authoritarian and migrant struggles challenging traditional notions of health by linking access to safe spaces, housing, and collective political action as a course towards wellbeing.

  • Episode 7: Episode 7: How to Unite and Unionize With Your Clinic Coworkers: A Win in an LGBT Clinic

    September 15th, 2018  |  46 mins 39 secs
    activism, autonomy, care, clinic, doctor, health, healthcare, left, lgbt, lgbtq, radical, union

    Even clinics and nonprofits claiming the most progressive intentions inherit some of the most exploitative practices against their workers. In this episode, we speak with a healthcare worker who linked up with her fellow docs, nurses, and administrators to resist union busting tactics by their bosses and promote fairer conditions in an LGBT clinic.

  • Episode 6: Prison Abolition and Migrant Justice in Germany: An Interview with Gefangenen Info

    August 27th, 2018  |  33 mins 44 secs
    abolition, activism, autonomy, care, doctor, gefangenen, health, left, magazine, prison, radical

    The physical and psychological impact of incarceration in Germany is shocking, resulting in suicides and other sequelae. In this interview with an editor of the Gefangenen Info, we learn about the prison abolition struggle in Germany and how German activists are joining with migrant collectives to create mutual aid networks, political actions, and other strategies in response.

  • Episode 5: Reproductive Rights, Mental Health and Collective Liberation

    May 18th, 2018  |  41 mins
    abortion, autonomy, care, health, mental, pills, radical, reproductive, rights, woodbine

    A conversation about reproductive health with Chloe.

    "A lot of people are uncomfortable with the idea of a 'DIY abortion.' One reason is that the left has ceded the abortion and reproductive rights debates to a more liberal movement. A big slogan of the liberal pro choice movement is 'we won't go back to doing DIY abortions,' but this has inadvertently encouraged a medicalization and institutionalization of abortion."

  • Episode 4: The complexities of mental health

    March 29th, 2018  |  41 mins 57 secs
    care, doctors, dr. frank, epidemics, health, health trends, healthcare, medicine, mental, politics, psychology, radical politics, self-care, woodbine

    Mental health affects millions of people – 1 in 5 Americans according to some estimates, with half of them not receiving any treatment. Frank and Babak talk to their friend and comrade Leijia about personal experiences of mental health, and how considerations of mental health can increase our collective capacity.

  • Episode 3: Understanding Wellness Culture with a Revolutionary Context

    October 31st, 2017  |  1 hr 4 mins
    care, doctors, dr. frank, epidemics, health, health trends, healthcare, medicine, politics, radical politics, self-care, woodbine

    It seems everywhere, there is a flurry of “wellness”. In the city, the yoga studios are as predominate in the pre-gentrification phase of a neighborhood as the cafe. Crossfit and Equinox are everywhere, gym classes filled with $200 pairs of pants. We’re told which supplements to eat, what toxins we should worry about, and the million ways to get better sleep. Corporate wellness retreats, bland phrases of “self-care” abound, and a new rising industry slowly takes over our lifes, with apple watches and fitbits tracking the whole thing. What the hell is going on? What does this mean for us a community who struggle for health autonomy? When we talk of the “good-life”, how does that differ from the libertarian Whole Foods CEO, the GOOP blogs, and the $100 workout class teachers? How do we differentiate our struggle from the neo-liberal drive for “mindfulness”?

    To join us in the conversation, we have two of our comrades from the Woodbine Health Autonomy Group - Frances, a local film maker and Eta, a writer and PhD student.

    Refer to the show description for show notes, links, and resources.

  • Episode 2: Building Communities of Revolutionary Care

    September 21st, 2017  |  1 hr 9 mins
    climate change, doctors, health, health autonomy, healthcare, medicine, radical organizing, woodbine

    In this episode Babak talks about the development of community, blending professional and radical work, and the care needed when creating new forms of life within a revolutionary struggle.

  • Episode 1: Developing Revolutionary Care

    September 6th, 2017  |  1 hr 4 secs
    climate change, doctors, health, healthcare, medicine, politics, radical organizing

    Babak interviews his co-host Frank, tracing his path through medical school and his views of health autonomy. Later in the podcast, they discuss the nuts and bolts of launching a health autonomy space, activism, how to address the bio-medicalization of care, and alternative practices of care.

  • What is Health Autonomy? An Introduction

    September 5th, 2017  |  1 hr 14 mins
    autonomy, doctors, health, radical politics, wellness

    Dr. Frank and Dr. Babak talk about their hopes for this podcast and tell us a little about themselves.