Monthly Archives: August 2008

Queer.Azaadi.Queer Azaadi.Azaadi.

Working it out.

The fight for rights and self-determination for Queer communities in the sub-continent has come through a big milestone with the Queer Azaadi March 2008, as well as various gay pride parades all over the country.

India’s draconian and dated Section 377 which criminalises non-procreative(‘unnatural’) sexual behaviour has to give way to a more aware, sex-positive and rights based approach to sexuality law.

Only when you take a good long glance at the margins, you come to understand different ways of being.

I have had a long history of brawls with my latent homophobia.It is’nt that I’m regressive by choice, just wary.

While I’m not that interested in homosexuality as a way of life and don’t think that choices are always unilateral, between this and that or either and or…I have come to understand the binary as a mode of recognition.My work on affirmative stances with respect to identity is about espousing the real struggle which makes you what you are.And freedom is a vital need.

In a group discussion by ‘Cinelabia’, the cinematic wing of ‘Labia’, a support group for Bisexual and Lesbian women that holds film screenings every fourth weekend of the month at Majlis, the need for new languages rang clear.The endeavor, made clear through a film called ‘Working it Out’ was clearly drawing from queer theory but finding utterance to the real freedoms that we seek.The real problems that we have with patriarchal society and it’s termite-eaten woodwork.

Let’s concretise.

The body needs to freed from morose sexual slavery, be it female or male.And sexual violence that patriarchy’ engenders upon it’s inhabitants as modicum of compliance needs to be, the use Bush’s words , smoked out of murky corners.After all, it’s about the joy of life and love that sexuality should be.


Credits for Reconnaissance:

Concept and Direction: Raheema Begum

Graphic Design: Ramya Nagaraj

Installation and media: Umesh Kumar, Pradeep Kambathalli, Rajeev, Nadeem Baig and Nitin Muralidharan.

Sound: Ravi Srinivasan and Clyde De Mello

Performances: Arka Mukhopadhyay, Sowmya Jaganmurthy ,Christoph Lechner, Christine Lechner, Michel Casanovas, Antara Hazarika, Eric Miller , Sridhar Pabbishetty…

Photographs: Nitin Mayanath and Gopal M.S.

Thanks for documenting , Smitha Cariappa and Ravi Srinivasan!

Music from Alanis Morisette, Massive Attack, Asian Dub Foundation, Cold Play and the sound track of ‘Meenakshi’.

For more information and pictures visit the Flickr Set and the Documentation Album or see the Facebook Event.

A big big thank you to Gallery Sumukha, Bangalore, to Mona and Nazreen and Mrs. Premilla Baid for all the encouragement, support and co-operation.

To Azeezulla Baig , my uncle for all the unacknowledged back-patting over the years.To my mother, my father,my brother, my sister and the entire family.

Thanks to the Attakalari Center for Movement Arts for it’s vibrant arts culture.

Thanks to Michel Casanovas for his pre-emptory session with the Feldenkrais technique.

To Christoph Lechner and Christine Lechner for their participation, guidance and support.My Salaams.

To Arka Mukhopadhyay for all his help and support in making the performances possible.

To Antara Hazarika for being a part of this. To Sowmya Jaganmurthy,

To everyone who came and collaborated with us, heres hoping that this will lead us to more and more such spaces.

And Marta Jakimowicz, thank you for a fine review!

Write to us at for any enquiries.