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‘Clinical Judgment’ by Aliya Pabanifor McSweeney’s 64: The Audio Issue

Combining art, fiction, audio, and a compendium of print objects in a custom box, McSweeney’s 64 is an ambitious exploration of audiovisual storytelling, coproduced with Radiotopia from PRX. Each piece in the issue establishes its own relationship between audio and print—the contributor’s unique experiment in weaving the mediums.

‘Clinical Judgement’ is an audio play about an immigrant from India, living in Canada. He’s a privileged man (a doctor) with many biases and blind spots at the same time. The audio piece presents one side of his story. The 24” x 30” poster art created by Masha complicates and questions the story by presenting other perspectives. The poster provides a point of view, as if out for for dinner with the narrator of the play. What should we think of the narrator? Was he culpable? Is he telling the full story? The ultimate question he asks himself at the end of the piece is “Am I a bad man?” and the poster poses that question too.