Mala Muñoz & Diosa Femme: Co-Founders & Hosts of Locatora Radio
Mala Muñoz and Diosa Femme are the Co-Founders of Locatora Radio which is an independent multimedia production company committed to archiving and celebrating the brilliance of womxn of color through podcasting, film-making, educational workshops, and live events. Mala and Diosa are also the Co-Hosts of the Locatora Radio bi-monthly podcast which is a radiophonic novela that covers many topics including femme tech, femme defense, and loca epistemologies.
Mala is an LA born and raised Xicana, writer, sex educator, self-defense instructor, former rape crisis counselor/advocate, and sound board operator for Locatora.
Diosa is a Peruana-Mexicana born and raised in Los Angeles. She is a writer, mental health advocate, and self-care promotora. Diosa’s work and writing centers non-linear healing, sexual and reproductive justice, and the femme as politic and praxis.
Q: From a radiophonic novela to what is now becoming a multimedia tech startup, how has this shift changed the way that you view the importance of femme tech and where do you see Locatora Radio heading in 5 years?
Mala: Over the past three years of podcasting, we have learned how important it is for women of color to have access to technology and tools to help us bring our creativity to life. As a podcast whose central mission is the work of archiving the brilliance and legacies of women of color, we have been blown away by the impact that digital technology can have on our community’s ability to document our own histories. What we love about this concept of femme technology, is imagining the possibilites for tech outside of consumerism, surveillance, imperialism, and destruction. Femme technology is the ability to imagine uses of technology for good, not evil.
Diosa: At the current moment, Locatora Radio has grown from podcasting to event production, filmmaking, and writing. I see us expanding even more and bringing our community of creatives along with us. What began a DIY passion project transformed into a tech start up and business and as Locatora grows so do we.
Q: How has failure shaped the Locatora Radio that we see today?
Mala: The word failure has not been part of our lexicon or project journey. This is a tough question to answer because in thinking about the past three years of podcasting, we can’t name a single instance of failing. What we have experienced is rejection, and we speak in the language of redirection and patience. If an opportunity has not worked out, we recognize that maybe it wasn’t right for us, or we were not yet ready to take that step.
Diosa: If we see something isn’t working, whether that be content or event wise, we redirect our energy instead of forcing things to come together. From the creation to the podcast to present day, everything has been organic and authentic. Mala and I are friends and have a mutual respect and love for each other, which is why we can nurture our baby, Locatora Radio so well. Magic happens when we create because it’s out of a genuine love for our communities. Nothing is ever fake or forced.
Q: Locatora Radio has done amazing work on the mission to celebrate the brilliance of womxn of color through its various form of media. For the men reading this, what advice do you have for ways that they too can best can uplift and celebrate womxn of color every day?
Diosa: Pass the mic. Create and share opportunities with women. To this day, opportunities or jobs presented to us have hardly ever been from men, but we know that they’re in positions of power. How are you bringing in and supporting women? And I mean all women. Not just the ones you’re attracted to.
Mala: Silence is golden! Men can learn a lot from listening actively and intentionally to women. We are brilliant. We create, innovate, shape communities and culture. Hire women for jobs! If you are a journalist, write about women. We have had some amazing press in the past couple of years. Forbes, LA Mag, Latina, etc. Every single journalist who has reached out to us about a feature has been a woman. Men can work on sharing their platforms to help elevate women creators and founders. We are pros at so many different levels, and women can truly excel in every field given the opportunity free of sexism, abuse, and harassment. Give us our shine!
Q: You have both written multiple articles on various topics for publications. Which one of your own is your favorite and why?
Diosa: I’ve written for Fierce by Mitu, Remezcla, and Hip Latina and those platforms have allowed me to grow as a writer and journalist. I love writing about sexual wellness and beauty! The more I write and create my own narratives, the more I’m able to bridge the two. What’s really important to me is reframing the way we think about beauty as frivolous and/or a waste of time. As a society we don’t prioritize women and femmes sexual wellness and health either. Through my writing, I hope to facilitate discussions around self care as community care. It’s hard to pick just one, but this past year I wrote about Masturbating as a 2019 goal and it took a level of openness and vulnerability to publish it!
Mala: I love to write! A few years ago I wrote a series of articles that were published online for VIBE on their Latinx platform, VIBE Viva. A personal favorite article of mine was one I wrote about Yesika Salgado, a prolific Salvadoreña poetess from LA. Yesika’s career has skyrocketed in the years since I interviewed her and wrote about her for VIBE, and I just feel so proud and honored to have had the chance to write about her and be a small part of her journey.