No Middle Road: Feminist writer Ninotchka Rosca on prostitution, feminism, art, and social transformation

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MsRepresent listeners, I'm very excited to announce that for the next few weeks, I'll be airing the New York episodes. Over the summer I spent some time in the Big Apple where I interviewed fierce women in the arts and in activism.

For the premier episode of the New York series, I'm very happy to introduce Philippine-born, award-winning novelist, journalist, feminist, activist, intellectual and yogi, Ninotchka Rosca. Her second novel, Twice Blessed won the prestigious American Book Award in 1993. Her writing has been described as "Kafkaesque," with The New York Times applauding her work as having "the pungent force of Gabriel Garcia Marquez."

A former political prisoner under the Ferdinand Marcos Dictatorship, Ninotchka was forced into political exile to the United States in the 1970s. Since then, Ninotchka has worked with Amnesty International, the PEN American Center, and drafted landmark statements on women and human rights at the UN's Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing and at the UN's World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna.

When she's not working on her current novel, Ninotchka works with the Association of Filipinas, Feminists Fighting Imperialism, Refeudalization and Marginalization (AF3IRM), a transnational, four continent feminist organization in the United States. 

For this episode, Ninotchka discusses third wave and transnational feminism, social transformation models, prostitution, the Nordic model, Karl Marx, Gerda Lerner, Picasso's Guernica, and the role of art and the artist in social transformation.


Ninotchka Rosca, novelist, journalist and activist; organizer of women; works with AF3IRM. Constantly jousting with windmills since the first serious book she read, when she was 7 years old, was Cervantes's Quixote. Author and co-author of 9 books and about 700 by-lined articles and essays.  Currently at work on her novel, The Synchrony Tree -- about an ancient elemental who finds herself in New York City. 

Learn more about her work at:,

MsRepresent: Behind the Face, a Fierce Woman can also be found at:

Intro/outro music:  "Rainbow" by Emilie Simon. Remix from the original.

Additional music: "A tua choradeira é meio salário em lenços" by Stealing Orchestra & Rafael Dionísio. Remix from the original.

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