Understanding the US election with artist, podcaster, activist, and creator of The Ballad of Billy Balls

“I feel like America was an experiment that right now is yielding really hideous, ugly results". In the days after the US election, Lilah explores how divided the US is with artist and activist iO Tillett Wright. iO created the hit true-crime podcast The Ballad of Billy Balls. He just finished a ten-year project travelling to all 50 states to photograph 10,000 queer Americans and has a unique lens on America. They discuss the election, how Americans were taught to hate, the dangers of groupthink, the ebb and flow of the fight for queer rights, this generation’s fight for civil rights and what effective activism looks like.


iO's projects:

The Ballad of Billy Balls

His memoir, Darling Days

Self Evident Truths: 10,000 Portraits of Queer America

–iO's Ted Talk, 50 Shades of Gay

–A conversation between iO and King Princess (Interview Magazine)


iO's recommendations:

Rabbit Hole podcast, from the New York Times

–The Social Dilemma is on Netflix (here's an FT interview with its director, Jeff Orlowski)

Swindled, a podcast about white-collar crime & corporate greed

A General Theory of Love: a book about the science of human emotions and biological psychiatry


Ahead of our next episode, three pieces by Simon Schama:

The two Americas: LBJ, MLK and what the dramas of 1965 can teach a polarised nation

–Simon Schama: History is better served by putting the Men in Stone in museums

Plague Time: Simon Schama on what history tells us 



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