Interviews and features

Pressing the Future interview October 2018

“I think everywhere I live has really entered me and affected me and really changed the way I see the world. I think it’s important to live in the places we are writing about as much as possible and to be open to the process of transformation that happens when we encounter other ways of being. I think a lot of the questions that I’m asking through my journalistic projects are also questions that I am asking of the world and of myself. It’s always been very philosophical and personal and a bit conceptual and I’ve always connected with the intellectual communities in the countries where I’m living. I’ve really talked about my work with artists and thinkers in the place itself. I think everything about my worldview has changed based on my experience of where I’ve lived.”

The 85% Podcast   July 2018

Interview with Meara Sharma on the subtle violence of stripping spaces of specificity, how we narrate “other” places, plus humility, responsibility, apology and many other things I think about around my Makoko Floating School Atavist Magazine piece.

The Sole Adventurer Exhibition Review of Design is the Personality of an Idea exhibition I curated at the Ford Foundation in Lagos 2015

“Modupeola Fadugba in 8 Days of Lazy also reclines into an inner space to reflect on her former understanding of the world without any pressure from the present. She calls it lazy, but it seems the colourful paintings are about her taking time to ‘reconfigure’ her mind.”

Bi-co News Feature  December 2019

“I spent years trying to make work that is nonviolent inside of a violent structure,” Gaestel explained. “Leaving journalism has been a casting off of what’s impure. It’s been spiritual.”

As Gaestel noted at the beginning of her talk, journalism is a structure historically associated with imperialistic whiteness. “Journalism constrains, contains, flattens, contorts places,” Gaestel said. “There is a ubiquity of white supremacy in journalism, in the stories we chose to tell, in the way they are told. War stories, belittling articles about white saviors, narratives of development, as if any country should or would want to end up like the West.” As for the way these stories are told, Gaestel noted that journalistic narratological conventions “narrate pejoratively what other people experience if it does not fit in the hegemony.”

Haverford College Interview July 2019

Gaestel’s single-minded purpose: to “let more and more of our stories,” she said, “reflect the complexity of our reality.”


Haverford College Interview September 2016

“I didn’t trust the stories I was being told from afar,” says Gaestel. “I wanted to see it myself. So I moved to Haiti later that year with little more than a lunch date and loose interest for stories from a couple of small-time editors I had met in New York.”

Eventually, though, she thinks she’d like to move beyond journalism. “I’m interested in more creative writing and reportage, and I hope to write a book one of these days,” she says.

The Writers Voice 2014

Haverford Q&A 2010

“At the United Nations, I grew frustrated at being removed from the actual situation and having to rely on second hand information.  I started reaching out to the Haitian diaspora in New York and hearing their perspectives, which often differed considerably from the official accounts.  So I started preparing to move by taking Kreyol lessons and making links on the ground and with other publications.”