Kristen Young (she/her) is an archivist and records manager who specialises in community archives. As a Jamaican-born immigrant to Canada, Kristen is interested in the intersection of archives, history, memory, and identity and how they interact in community environments. Since completing her Master’s in Information Studies, Kristen has expanded her professional reach and assisted various companies and community organizations with administration, program development, and program evaluation. She is the Internal Coordinator of Black Mental Health Connections Montreal, which promotes mental health wellbeing, advocates for increased mental health access, and provides mental health services to the English-speaking Black community in Montreal. She co-produces and hosts the weekly race and media podcast, Do the Kids Know? And she sits on the advisory board for the group, Canadian Voices Against Racism.
A former Nuclear Energy Worker, Prakash Krishnan (he/him) is now a media practitioner, artist-researcher, cultural mediation, and curator. Across his scholastic and artistic oeuvre, he engages with questions and expression of identity – primarily those of race, sexuality, gender, and colonization. He is currently developing a multimedia exhibition work and master’s thesis around the cultural performance of South Asian identity on the Internet. He co-produces and hosts the weekly race and media podcast, Do The Kids Know? and occasionally writes, performs, and makes short films. Having had struggled to navigate issues of race, class, gender, and sexuality for over twenty years without encountering guidance from a voice like his, Prakash is deeply interested in facilitating these conversations for those new to the work of un/learning.
Prakash & Kristen’s Friendship Origin Story
From Kristen’s POV:
i knew of his existence in high school but I wouldn’t call us friends. then while I was u of t with a mutual friend, I kept being reminded of his existence by this friend because they’d known each other since middle school. then prakash moved to montreal and that’s really when we started to hang out and develop our own friendship. his first summer in montreal was good for me. It forced me to actually leave my house in order to spend time with him. then he decided to stay and he, surprisingly, managed to continue to get me out of my house and doing things and meeting new people a lot. then as he started to settle into the city and i got to see more of his drive and determination and interests, i think i settled more into the friendship. to the point where before i realised it, when i got invited to group things I would invite prakash to go with me because i knew if my social anxiety jumped out or if the event was actually not great, i’d still have a good time if he was there.
From PK’s POV:
OK so here is the thing… we went to the same high school of almost 3000 students. So it wasn’t a given you would know everyone even though we were in the same grade and in the cursed program that is IB for kids who cant stay away from scholastic trauma. And while I can’t say that we were friends at the time due to the high school social laws of Blackness, IB, and sports, we had overlapping friend groups and so I’m pretty sure we exchanged pleasantries when in each others’ companies, and I often frequented her workplace – the local Cineplex – which we affectionately named “Ghettoplex” because the building was in shambles – BUT it was the cheapest theater in the city.
Flash forward a few years, I’ve left home for university and one of my middle school BFFs, Courtney, mentions attaching herself to a girl from our high school, Kristen. Kristen, like Courtney, are both studying history at UofT and have a mutual distrust of everyone around them. Jump ahead a few more years, Kristen and I have met formally a few times when I visit my hometown friends and a group chat is formed.
A few MORE years later (Jesus, how old am I?), Kristen is doing her MLIS at McGill and I’m visiting mtl for a concert. Being the perpetual broke binch, I ask to crash at her studio apartment. The next year, my car is packed and I’m moving from Toronto to Montreal where Kristen is only one of three people I know and the only person of colour.
AND THAT, my friends, is where this story of friendship, Face Time ranting and fist shaking began… I think?
The Friendship Facts/DTKK Timeline:
- 2006 – Began high school together in Brampton, Ontario;
- 2008 – Became Facebook friends;
- 2010 – Kristen begins (in her words, codependent) friendship with Prakash’s long-time friend;
- 2013 – Record of public social media acknowledgement;
- 2014 – Group chat is formed (the date is TBC)
- 2015 – Prakash séjours at Kristen’s studio apt in Montreal;
- 2016 – Prakash moves to MTL, gets acquainted with Kristen’s social sphere;
- 2018 – Kristen is interview by Prakash for a research-creation podcast project;
- 2019 – Kristen & Prakash start recording their first podcast project, Melanin Therapy;
- 2020 – Podcast idea is reworked, recorded, and released as Do The Kids Know.