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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Week 9: Lambda LitFest

Week 9: Lambda LitFest

On Saturday March 11 I was able to attend a panel and the UnCabaret show that were a part of the all-day first annual Lambda LitFest. The Lambda LitFest was put on by the Lambda Literary Foundation, one of the leading Los Angeles based organizations that is heavily involved in the world of LGBTQIA literary arts. (Side note: one of my favorite Canadian authors, Vivek Shraya, was just recently selected as a Lambda Literary Finalist! So I’m pretty excited about that. You can check out her work here.)
The panel that I attended at the Lambda Literary Festival was titled "Queer Truth: Nonfiction & Journalism in a Post-Truth World" and was comprised of 6 panelists, and was facilitated by Karen Tongson. Through this panel I was able to listen to each of the panelists speak on their lived experiences, and share their views on what truth and knowledge are, and debate whether these two are the same thing. One panelist argued that knowledge and truth are the same thing and stated how they are merely synonymous. Various other individuals agreed with her, however, one panelist in particular, ____, spoke on how knowledge and truth aren’t synonymous, but rather, are woven with one another. They aren’t mutually exclusive, but they also aren’t one and the same. ___ spoke on how lived experiences are a valid form of knowledge production, and how everyone’s lived experiences can vary. It is as a result of this that knowledge can differ from person to person. They argued that objectivity does not exist, yet the media perpetuates this false idea of a depoliticized truth. The banter back and forth on the stage was very entertaining, and I very much appreciated the thought provoking questions at the end of the panel.
After the last panel of the day, I had a few hours to kill since UnCabaret was at 7pm, so I decided to walk around the City to find some food. My feet ended  up at the local Fat Burger, and while there I was able to decompress and make full sense of what I had experienced back in the panel. The lively banter was great, but coming back to the notes that I took for the panel was really helpful. This break was needed as I had a long day ahead of me. 
Later on, I ended up catching some of UnCabaret. I hadn’t previously attended an UnCabaret so I was looking forward to attending this one. This type of comedy was something I hadn’t quite experienced before. I appreciated some jokes, but others I wasn’t as well learned to really appreciate— thought the typical jokes about LGBTQ things were quite relatable and so admittedly I did chortle at a few of those. The live band on stage was a nice touch to the comedy and I very much appreciated the MC’s attire as it fit the extravagant setting that UnCabaret was trying to capture on stage. 

Lambda LitFest, from what I had sat in one, was enjoyable and I look forward to seeing this annual programming once more. Since I will be a UCLA Alumni next year, I’m hoping to enjoy more of the programming since I won’t have to worry about exams, and staying on top of my classes— as I feel that these responsibilities really kept me from enjoying the weeklong programming of the Lambda LitFest. Though despite this, I’d like to say that the Saturday panels were a success and I enjoyed my attendance.

Attached is a picture of me with one of the attendees, who also happens to be affiliated with one of the organizations that co-sponsored the event. 

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