Reading 377 VerdictDate – 29 th Sept, 2018
After the Verdict on 6/9/2018 delivered by a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court of India on the Constitutionality of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), we, at Sappho for Equality, received continuous phone calls from across the state of West Bengal asking various questions pertaining to the verdict. Apart from this, several of our members’ inboxes were also flooded with messages containing questions on the scope of the same. In this context, it is important for us, as an organization, as well as us, as a community, to know where we stand after this historical verdict on the rights of LGBTQI+ folks. Things which we might have gotten, or things the judges had said to affirm the rights of the LGBTQI+ community – it is essential for us to know. Because our knowledge would not only help us as queer individuals, it would also shed the light on our future course of action regarding our civil rights.
To decode the verdict, as well as to get all these answers, Sappho for Equality is going to organize an event on September 29, 2018 (Saturday) at H.L.Roy auditorium inside Jadavpur University campus (gate no. 3). The event would last for three hours – starting at 2 pm. We have invited Advocate Amritananda Chakravorty to speak on the verdict. Amritananda is an independent advocate located in New Delhi. She had been associated with Lawyer’s
Collective for 8 long years and worked on filing several litigations – litigations around Section 377-related petitions are one of them.
So please do come on September 29 to know more about your rights. Unfortunately, our seats are limited, and you are requested to complete your registration and grab your seat by 1:30 pm on the same date.
গত ৬ই সেপ্টেম্বর,২০১৮ সুপ্রীম কোর্টের পাঁচজন বিচারপতিদের একটি বেঞ্চ ভারতীয় দন্ডবিধির ধারা ৩৭৭ সংক্রান্ত রায়ের পরে স্যাফোর হেল্পলাইনে অগুন্তি ফোন আসতে থাকে নানাবিধ প্রশ্নের সাথে। এছাড়াও আমাদের বিভিন্ন জনের কাছে বিভিন্নভাবে প্রচুর মানুষ এই রায় সংক্রান্ত প্রশ্ন করেন যে এই রায়ে ঠিক কি কি বলা আছে। এই পরিস্থিতিতে আমরা ঠিক কোথায় দাঁড়িয়ে আছি, সেটা আমাদের জানতে হবে। এই রায়ের ফলে আমরা কি কি পেলাম, প্রান্তিক লিঙ্গ ও যৌন সম্প্রদায়ের মানুষদের অধিকার রক্ষার প্রশ্নে পাঁচজন বিচারপতি ঠিক কি বললেন, সেগুলো আমাদের জানাটা একান্ত প্রয়োজন। কারণ আমাদের এই জানার উপরেই নির্ভর করছে প্রান্তিক লিঙ্গ ও যৌন সম্প্রদায়ভুক্ত মানুষদের অধিকার লড়াইএর ভবিষ্যত।
এই নানাবিধ প্রশ্নের বিশ্লেষণ করতে স্যাফো ফর ইক্যুয়ালিটি আগামী ২৯-এ সেপ্টেম্বর,২০১৮ দুপুর ২টো থেকে বিকাল ৫টা পর্যন্ত একটি আলোচনাসভার আয়োজন করছে যাদবপুর বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ের ক্যাম্পাসে এইচ এল রায় সভাগৃহে (গাট নাম্বার ৩)। এইসব প্রশ্নের উত্তর দিতে আসছেন দিল্লীর আইন বিশেষজ্ঞ অ্যাডভোকেট অমৃতানন্দা চক্রবর্তী। অমৃতানন্দা দীর্ঘ ৮ বছর ধরে ল’ইয়ার্স কালেক্টিভের সাথে কাজ করেছেন এবং ধারা ৩৭৭ সংক্রান্ত বিভিন্ন লিটিগেশন ফাইল করেছেন।
তাই আসুন, আগামী ২৯-এ সেপ্টেম্বর, ২০১৮ নিজের অধিকার সম্বন্ধে জানতে। দুর্ভাগ্যক্রমে আমাদের আসনসংখ্যা সীমিত, এবং আমরা আপনাদেরকে অনুরোধ করব দুপুর দেড়টার মধ্যে রেজিস্টার করিয়ে নিজের আসন গ্রহণ করতে।
Sexuality Academy 2018Date – January 24 – 28, 2018
‘স্যাফো ফর ইক্যুয়ালিটি’-র ষষ্ঠ ‘যৌনতার পাঠশালা’ (Sexuality Academy) বসছে ২৪ থেকে ২৮ জানুয়ারি ২০১৮। এই পাঠশালায় যৌনতা, লিঙ্গ-যৌনতা ও তার সঙ্গে জড়িয়ে থাকা নানা সামাজিক তত্ত্ব নিয়ে আলোচনা হয়, গভীরে ঢুকে মূল বিষয়গুলিকে বোঝার চেষ্টা করা হবে। ‘স্যাফো ফর ইক্যুয়ালিটি’ এই পাঠশালার মাধ্যমে সেই সব তরুণ মনের সঙ্গে সংযোগ তৈরি করতে চায় যারা এই ধরনের চর্চায় ইচ্ছুক।
এবারের এই পাঁচ দিনের আবাসিক পাঠশালায় যৌনতা ও তার সঙ্গে সংযুক্ত লিঙ্গ-যৌন স্বারূপ্য, রাষ্ট্র, সমাজ, ইতিহাস, ধর্ম, বর্ণ, শরীর ও মন, জীবিকা, সক্ষমতার ধারণা, নৈতিকতার ধারণা, আইন, চলচ্চিত্র-উপস্থাপনা এইসব নানা বিষয় নিয়ে চর্চা চলবে। আমরা এই বিষয়গুলির মধ্যেকার যোগসূত্র খুঁজে বার করার চেষ্টা করব কারণ যৌনতা/লিঙ্গ-যৌনতাকে সামগ্রিকভাবে বুঝতে হলে এই যোগসুত্রগুলিকে বোঝার ও ভাবার প্রয়োজন আছে। ‘যৌনতার পাঠশালা’য় যোগ দিতে পারেন ২০ থেকে ৩৫ বছর বয়সী যে কোনো চাকুরিজীবী বা ছাত্রছাত্রী, যিনি পাঁচ দিনের আবাসিক পাঠশালায় গভীর চিন্তা, চর্চা ও মননের মধ্যে নিজেকে নিযুক্ত করতে চান। এখানে আলোচনার ভাষা মুলত বাঙলা, তাই বাঙলা ভাষায় দক্ষতা ও ইংরাজি ভাষা বুঝতে পারার ক্ষমতা থাকতে হবে। এই পাঠশালায় যোগ দেবার জন্য কোনও খরচ করতে হয় না।
পাঠশালায় যোগ দিতে চাইলে ২০০ শব্দের মধ্যে বাঙলা বা ইংরাজিতে লিখে পাঠান কেন আপনি এখানে যোগ দিতে চান। আপনার বায়োডাটা সহ আমাদের ইমেল করুন ২৫ ডিসেম্বর ২০১৭র মধ্যে। আপনি নির্বাচিত হলে আমরা ৪ঠা জানুয়ারি ২০১৮-র মধ্যে আপনাকে জানিয়ে দেওয়া হবে।
ইমেল আইডি email@example.com
আরও বিশদে জানতে চাইলে যোগাযোগ করতে পরেন এই নম্বরে -
০৩৩২৪৪১৯৯৯৫ বা ৯৮৩১৫১৮৩২০ (দুপুর ১২-৩০ থেকে রাত ৭-৩০, সোমবার ছাড়া)
Sappho for Equality is delighted to announce the sixth Jounatar Pathshala/Sexuality Academy between 24th and 28th January 2018. This is a unique five-day residential programme organised by Sappho for Equality to have intense discussion on gender-sexuality in continuum and connection with contemporary developmental issues with young persons. The entire programme will be conducted primarily in Bangla.
This academy aims at communicating with participants on intersectional understanding of gender-sexuality with contemporary issues like state, society, history, religion, caste, body and mind, disability, livelihood, morality-immorality, law, screen politics and much more. Jounatar Pathshala is inviting applications from interested persons (students, professionals or development workers), between age 20-35, who are willing to spend five days of intense involvement, learning, unlearning and connecting with similar interests. Language of instruction will be Bangla, so proper knowledge of Bangla is required along with workable knowledge in English. There are no course fees. Certificates will be provided on successful completion of the course.
Interested individuals are requested to write to us in Bangla or English a 200-word piece on why
you want to take part in the academy and mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org along with your CV by 25th December 2017.
Selected candidates will be informed by 4th January 2018.
For further queries please call 03324419995 or 9831518320 (12:30 to 7:30 pm except Monday).
DIALOGUES: Calcutta International LGBT Film & Video Festival 2017 Date: 23rd-26th November, 2017
Welcome to the 11th edition of DIALOGUES: Calcutta International LGBT Film & Video Festival, 2017 organised by Sappho for Equality in collaboration with Pratyay Gender Trust and Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan, Kolkata. This time we are back with 38 films from 12 countries to be screened at one of the oldest single theatre hall in Kolkata, Basusree Cinema (established in 1947) from 23rd to 26th November 2017. Free passes will be distributed from the venue – Basusree Cinema,102, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Road (landmark – Hajra Crossing), Near Jatin Das Park Metro, Kolkata, West Bengal 700026 from 20th November 2017 onwards during 12-6 pm. For the full schedule follow our facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/DialoguesTheAnnualCalcuttaLGBTFilmVideoFestival/) or watch this space for details.
DETAILED SCHEDULE OF DIALOGUES 2017: https://issuu.com/dialogues/docs/dialogues2017_schedule_final
National Queer Conference 2017: Praxis, Politics & Possibilities… Date: 15th – 17th September 2017
Call for Abstracts
Sappho for Equality is organizing the fifth National Queer Conference titled Praxis, Politics & Possibilities… to be held between 15th to 17th September 2017 at the Vivekananda Hall, Jadavpur University, Kolkata. In ‘scattered hegemonic’ contexts, propelled primarily by conservative and divisive forces, how is one practicing and imagining praxis and politics from activist, academic, academic-activist positionalities? This conference seeks to discuss and dialogue about the meanings and practices associated with the praxis and politics of queer movements (understood broadly), pedagogies, alternative discourses, everyday lives, and search for different possibilities. In recent times, on one hand, while larger political imaginaries are fractured by identitarian politics, on the other, such fractures are also pushing the normative boundaries of established queer politics. Further, organizations and collectives are struggling to queer a politics of recognition by trying to understand and imagine practices of living that lie at the fringes of normative institutions. At the same time, given the increased precarity of already abject lives – irrespective of their gender-sexual expressions, identities and orientations – what is the role of a collective and how does/can it imagine liveable communities? Can such imagination move beyond oppositional politics and continue to engage differentially with increasingly normative social and political institutions? What would be the role of law in enabling/disabling a radical politics of the possible? How can queer praxis strategically link and/or ally itself with desires that underlie geographical re-mappings and questions of self- determination? Is there a queer ecology that is more sensitive to environmental issues and justice? These are some questions we will seek to address around the following subthemes, including, but not limited to: Session I: Desires and boundaries How do we frame our longings and erotic longings against the backdrop of multiple borders that emerge through heteronationalist discourses and practices? How do different desires and longings challenge and/or politicize such boundaries? Session II: Politics of everyday What does ‘being political’ mean in everyday life? Is there a difference between the politics of the everyday and collective activism? Do we hierarchize different kinds of political activisms such as ‘click activisms’ and ‘street activisms’? Session III:Living and imagining care What are the sites of care that exist outside and/or within biological and/or state recognized institutions? What are the ‘currencies’ of care and eligibility criteria of care in these sites? How can we imagine alternative institutions of care? Session IV:Identities and beyond What is the centrality of identity in political practice today? What is the difference and connection between identitarian and standpoint politics? How do individual and collective selves forge connections between different identities? Session V: Kinship, friendship and relationalities How are we living and exploring kinships that lie outside of blood and marriage ties? What are the resonances and disssonances between such kinship and friendships? When is dissonance productive? How do we understand community, singlehood, and unspecified relationalities today? Session VI:Intimacies and living arrangements What words and concepts do we use to indicate different forms of intimacies that lie outside of biological and/or marital markers? How do our present practices and imaginations critique and create new structures of living? How do we use exisiting structures to create alternative living arrangements? Session VII: Organising in and through movements Who are the social actors organising movements? How the social movement that I am involved in is connected to other social movements? What are the different generative moments of such connections? What are the imperatives for organising through movements other than those that I am connected with? Session VIII: Precarious lives, protective collectives? Are precarity and liveability opposed or are liveable moments integral to precarious lives?Are collectives making precarious lives more normative at the same time that they are making them more liveable? How do varied expressions and experiences find space in collective organising and living? Session IX: Expositions and renditions Expressions of praxis, politics and possibilities using different forms of experimental and/or classical performances, such as (but not limited to) theatre, music, dance, poetry, narratives and prose. We are inviting abstracts along with a short bio-note from students, research scholars, teachers, development workers, and activists on any of these sub themes. The last date of abstract submission is 30th June, 2017. Send it to email@example.com mentioning the subtheme under which you are submitting your abstract.. The abstract should be of 250 to 300 words. Papers in English and Bengali will be accepted. There is no registration fee. Outstation participants will be provided with AC 3-tier train fare and accommodation on twin sharing basis. Authors of selected abstracts will be communicated by 20th July 2017. The deadline for completed papers is 25th August 2017. Please note: Papers to be presented at the conference should be unpublished before. Sappho for Equality may publish the papers in future. For further clarification, please contact: Shreosi at 033-24419995 (Tuesday-Saturday 12-8pm & Sunday 12-6pm).
Sexuality Academy Date: 23rd to 27th March 2017
‘স্যাফো ফর ইক্যুয়ালিটি’-র পঞ্চম ‘যৌনতার পাঠশালা’ (Sexuality Academy) বসছে ২৩ থেকে ২৬ মার্চ ২০১৭। এই পাঠশালায় লিঙ্গ-যৌনতা ও তার সঙ্গে জড়িয়ে থাকা নানা সামাজিক বিষয় নিয়ে আলোচনা হয়, গভীরে ঢুকে মূল সমস্যাগুলিকে বোঝার চেষ্টা করা হয়। ‘স্যাফো ফর ইক্যুয়ালিটি’ এই পাঠশালার মাধ্যমে সেই সব তরুণ মনের সঙ্গে সংযোগ তৈরি করতে চায় যারা এই ধরনের চর্চায় ইচ্ছুক। এবাবের এই চার দিনের আবাসিক পাঠশালায় লিঙ্গ-যৌনতা ও তার সঙ্গে সংযুক্ত রাষ্ট্র, সমাজ, ইতিহাস, ধর্ম, বর্ণ, শরীর ও মন, জীবিকা, সক্ষমতার ধারণা, নৈতিকতার ধারণা, এইসব নানা বিষয় নিয়ে চর্চা চলবে – কীভাবে এগুলি পরস্পরকে প্রভাবিত করে ও কেনই বা লিঙ্গ-যৌনতাকে সামগ্রিকভাবে বুঝতে হলে এই যোগসুত্র নিয়ে ভাবার প্রয়োজন আছে। ‘যৌনতার পাঠশালা’য় যোগ দিতে পারেন ২০ থেকে ৩৫ বছর বয়সী যেকোনো কর্মজীবী বা ছাত্রছাত্রী, যিনি চারদিনের আবাসিক পাঠশালায় গভীর চিন্তা, চর্চা ও মননের মধ্যে নিজেকে নিযুক্ত করতে চান। এখানে আলোচনার ভাষা মুলত বাঙলা, তাই বাঙলা ভাষায় দক্ষতা ও ইংরাজি ভাষা বুঝতে পারার ক্ষমতা থাকতে হবে।এই পাঠশালায় যোগ দেবার জন্য কোনও খরচ করতে হয় না। পাঠশালায় যোগ দিতে চাইলে ২০০ শব্দের মধ্যে বাঙলা বা ইংরাজিতে লিখে পাঠান কেন আপনি এখানে যোগ দিতে চান। আপনার বায়োডাটা সহ আমাদের ইমেল করুন ২৫ ফেব্রুয়ারি ২০১৭র মধ্যে। আপনি নির্বাচিত হলে আমরা ৭ মার্চ ২০১৭-র মধ্যে আপনাকে জানিয়ে দেব। ইমেল আইডি firstname.lastname@example.org আরও বিশদে জানতে চাইলে যোগাযোগ করতে পরেন এই নম্বরে -০৩৩২৪৪১৯৯৯৫ বা ৯৮৩১৫১৮৩২০ (দুপুর ১২-৩০ থেকে রাত ৭-৩০, সোমবার ছাড়া)
Sappho for Equality is happy to announce the fifth Jounatar Pathashala (Sexuality Academy) between 23 rd and 26 th March 2017. Jounatar Pathshala is a unique residential programme run by Sappho for Equality for young persons interested to delve deeper into gender-sexuality and allied developmental issues. This four-day programme offers its participants an opportunity to understand gender-sexuality and gender-sexual intersections by weaving through an array of issues like state, society, history, religion, caste, body and mind, disability, livelihood, morality-immorality and much more. Jounatar Pathshala is inviting applications from interested persons (students, working individuals, professionals or development workers), between age 20-35, who are willing to spend four days of intense involvement, learning, unlearning and connecting with similar interests. Language of instruction will be Bangla, so proper knowledge of Bangla is required along with workable knowledge in English. There is no participation fees. Please write to us in Bangla or English a 200 word piece on why you want to take part in the academy and mail it to email@example.com along with your CV by 25 th February, 2017. Selected candidates will be informed by 7 th March, 2017. For further queries please call 03324419995 or 9831518320 (12:30 to 7:30 pm except Mondays).
UNTIL THE FLIGHT: a dance theatre Date: 21st February 2017 TIME: 7 PM Venue: Satyajit Ray Auditorium; ICCR; 9A, Ho Chi Minh Sarani, Kolkata, West Bengal 700071
Sappho for Equality beckons you to fly, a flight to freedom and ecstasy. Come and experience an evening of self exploration, breaking loose from fear and guilt to accept the frenzy and fluidity of desire, to soar above shame and pain. This is your flight, our flight. Presenting “Until The Flight”, a dance theatre choreographed by Monami Nandy on 21st February, 2017, 7PM at Satyajit Ray Auditorium, Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Kolkata. There is no entry fee, kindly take your seats by 6:45 PM.
The 10th edition of DIALOGUES: Date: 24th to 27th November, 2016
10th edition of DIALOGUES: Calcutta International LGBT Film & Video Festival 2016 is going to hit the big screen of Goethe-Institut Max Mueller Bhavan, 8 Ballygunge Circular Road, Kolkata – 700019 during 24th – 27th November 2016. Here is the detailed Schedule. Free passes will be distributed from the venue from 18th Nov between 12-7pm on first come first served basis. Click the following link for detailed schedule of DIALOGUES 2016 Dialogues 2016_Schedule Keep a watch for detailed schedule and more updates at this space and DIALOGUES Facebook page
Sexuality Academy Call for Applications Date: 9th to 13th March, 2016
Sappho for Equality (SFE) is announcing the fourth Sexuality Academy (‘Jaunatar Pathshala’) to be held between 9th and 13th March 2016.
Sexuality Academy/’Jaunatar Pathshala’ is organised by Sappho for Equality to discuss gender-sexuality and its intersections with other rights issues and movements. It is a space to talk, learn, discuss, share and also envisage a way forward through activist-academic engagements.
NO REGISTRATION FEE REQUIRED for participating in the academy.
This is a residential workshop conducted in the outskirts of Kolkata.
Mode of communication will be primarily in Bangla. The idea is to encourage and facilitate the emergence of activist-academic discourse and resource materials in Bangla.
We are inviting applications from students/activists/
The applications must reach us by 12th February 2016. Selected candidates will be informed by 18th February 2016.
You will also find updates at our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/
For further queries please write to us at sapphosexualityacademy@
Q-Phoria: An Evening Celebrating Diversities
Organised by Sappho for Equality at Max Mueller Bhavan on 19th February 2016 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Greetings from Sappho for Equality !!
A long waited evening for reclaiming and celebrating the cultural space by queer performers is finally commencing. Choosing to speak a different language of resistance against inequality and violation, let us create some symphony and bonhomie.
Let us make life more liveable through music and dance !!!
Please draw your happy feet towards Max Mueller Bhavan on 19th February 2016, Friday to join the gala night from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.
A brief sketch of the upcoming cultural evening
1. Launching of the first ever Digital Queer Archive in Eastern India SapphoDALIL (Sappho Digital Archive for LGBTIQ Information and Learning)
2. Dance Performance by Komal Gandhar
[Komal Gandhar is the cultural wing of the sex workers' organisation Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee, Kolkata comprising of young sex workers and their children, to give expression to their thinking through music, dance, play, painting and writing]
3. Hindustani Classical Vocal Music by Sumathi Murthy accompanied on Tabla by Mithu Tikadar.
[Sumathi Murthy from Bangalore is well known for her Hindustani classical vocal performances and gender-sexuality rights activism in India]
[Mithu Tikadar is a professional Tabla player from Kolkata and an MA in Instrumental Music from Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata]
4. Refreshment and Intermingling
DIALOGUES: Calcutta International LGBT Film & Video Festival 2015, November 26-29
The 9th edition of DIALOGUES: Calcutta International LGBT Film and Video Festival 2015 is back from November 26-29, 2015promising newer experiences. Spanning over three and half days, this year’s film festival cross-cuts through documentaries, docu-fictions, features, shorts and short-fiction from India and Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Germany, Indonesia, Morocco, Romania, Spain, UK, USA. This year the basket is made of 11 features, 5 documentaries, 1 docu-fiction, 20 shorts and a short-fiction; 37 films in total will be screened.
Festival opens on 26th Nov. at 6:00 pm and continues for three full days till 29th November.
Passes will be distributed from Max Mueller Bhavan from 23rd November between 12-6pm.
There is no entry fee!
Keep a watch for detailed schedule and more updates at this space and DIALOGUES facebook page
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS OF STORY BOARD FOR SIGNATURE FILM
Theme: Insider/ Outsider
Shortlisted Story board will be awarded Rupees Fifty Thousand (Rs. 50000/-) to be made into the signature film by the submitting filmmaker.
Since its beginning in 2007, DIALOGUES: Calcutta International LGBT Film & Video Festival commissioned an independent filmmaker for a signature film for the festival each year. These signature films, extremely diverse in content and style – from conceptual pieces to animation videos – every year, has stood to signify the spirit of DIALOGUES LGBT Film & Video Festival.
This year, DIALOGUES invites ideas from independent filmmakers – both professional and amateur – and opens this call for submission. Submissions are expected to be in the format of a story board – for a signature film – on the theme: Insider/ Outsider
Duration of Signature Film/ Storyboard: One minute
Last Date of Submission of Storyboard: October 10, 2015 by 5 pm
Submissions can only be made by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Shortlisted candidates will be notified for pitching
Decision on the winning submission will be notified by October 15, 2015
Final submission of Signature film must be made by NOVEMBER 15, 2015
DIALOGUES was launched in 2007 as an annual cultural event in the city of Calcutta, already used to hosting diverse film and video festivals covering different genres and aspects. The festival is a celebration of writers, directors, actors and their work dealing with gay lesbian, bisexual, and transgender themes and issues.
The Festival focuses on showcasing feature films, shorts, and videos from national and international filmmakers, typically highlighting major feature films of interest to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, simultaneously providing a much-needed venue for independent film and video from India and abroad on these themes. This festival will include films from around the country and abroad. The Festival is put together by SAPPHO FOR EQUALITY and PRATYAY GENDER TRUST in collaboration with GOETHE INSTITUTE/ MAX MUELLER BHAVAN KOLKATA
Media LGBT Interface III: Reel Life Real Life
Date: 3rd October 2015
Time: 6-8 pm
Venue: Rotary Sadan, Kolkata
Sappho for Equality is organizing the third Media LGBT Interface on 3rd October 2015, 6 pm to 8 pm at Rotary Sadan, Kolkata. This event will be a platform to create dialogues between film-makers, film critics and scholars, representatives from media houses, students and researchers, LGBTIQ activists and anyone who wants to participate in the programme. The objective of the programme is to talk about the politics of representation of LGBTIQ issues in popular films and to engage in a dialogue with film-makers, film critics and scholars, students and activists. Popular cinema in the Indian context started to seriously engage with homosexuality and LGBTIQ identities around the 1990s, a subject that was always a taboo bound by moral restrictions. Notable amongst this was Fire (Deepa Mehta, 1996), which, although different from the typical popular genre, triggered public discussion on homosexuality around the time. Since then popular cinema directly engaged with LGBTIQ issues through films such as Girlfriend (Karan Razdaan, 2004), My Brother Nikhil (Onir, 2005), I AM (Onir, 2010) and many more. Films such as Page 3 (Madhur Bhandarkar, 2005), Student of the Year (Karan Johar, 2012) portrayed same-sex desires and relationships in the peripheral narrative of the film. In recent times the LGBTIQ issues are being discussed more frequently through films. Nationally as well as regionally a number of films have emerged where LGBTIQ identities are represented in the main plot or sub-plot of the film. The aim of this programme is to discuss the representation of same-sex desire and love and LGBTIQ identities in popular films including the modality and substance of information generation. It wants to create a positive exchange of information between film makers, activists and film critics for more sensitive, real, dynamic portrayal of LGBTIQ issues in films. Since films serve as an influential mass medium, this programme aims to discuss how we may create a collaborative platform of information sharing, which can reap stories that are attractive, new, artistic and also connect to contemporary issues, lives, and aspirations. Reel Life Real Life is a public programme. All are invited. Watch for updates on our website and Face-book page coming shortly.
National Queer Conference 2015: Femininities and Masculinities
DATE: 11th – 13th September 2015
CONFERENCE SCHEDULE: http://issuu.com/
Session I – Politics of naming genders: How and why do we name our gender(s)? How is that name discursively produced? Do names have limits, foreclosures? Does the recognition of the third/trans gender influence these limits and/or foreclosures?
Session II – Gender and sexuality as border zones: How are borders between genders conceived? Are they rigid or porous? Are there borders to be passed to reach one’s ‘right’ gender and what role, does sexuality play in this passage? How is one’s sense of gender and sexuality contested in various spaces?
Session III – Fractures in hegemonic femininities and masculinities: How do we read dominant femininities and masculinities? Is it possible to read fractures, disruptions in the ways they are produced, performed? Can they be queered or is queerness in-built in them? How does power operate through them?
Session IV – Femininities and masculinities in the nation-making project: Is there an ideal femininity and ideal masculinity that the nation actively produces? How is it constituted? What are its constitutive others? Have there been changes in these constitution/s? How do gender queerness and different sexualities engage with such constitution/s? How does one locate neoliberal markets in these constitutions?
Session V – (De)constructing femininities and masculinities in popular culture: How do we read the way femininities and masculinities are constructed and produced in films, literature, theatre and other popular media? What are the continuities and disjunctions within popular culture? Are there differentials in the potential of different mediums of popular culture in queering gender binaries?
Session VI – Female masculinities and Male Femininities: How are female masculinities and male femininities experienced and lived? What are their everyday performances?Do their sexualities have a bearing on their gender performances? What would female masculinities and male femininities mean for the sexed body? How do they (re)order power? Does the neoliberal market also produce/co-opt/resist/reshape these femininities and masculinities?
Session VII – Femininities and Masculinities in Activism: What roles do femininities and masculinities play in social movements? How have women’s movements and queer movements interpreted/questioned/challenged different masculinities and femininities? Are there points of intersections? Are there commonalities/differences in standpoints? Has academic activist collaborations influenced these standpoints in any way?
Session VIII – Intersectionalities: How are femininities and masculinities experienced/negotiated through class, caste, ethnic, religious and other specificities? Do such locations and specificities by themselves and in combination influence the power of negotiation? Are these aspects somehow woven into hegemonic gender notions also, or do they signify a radical shift, a point of departure?
Session IX – Performing Femininities and Masculinities: Queering femininities and masculinities through live performance such as plays, dance, music and similar cultural forms.
We are inviting abstracts along with a short bio-note from students, research scholars, teachers, development architects, and activists on any of these sub themes. The abstracts should reach us by 23rd May 2015 at email@example.com. The abstract should be between 250 to 300 words. Papers in English and Bengali will be accepted. Selected participants who submit their papers in Bengali are requested to submit an English translation as well. There is no registration fee. Outstation participants will be provided with AC 3-tier train fare and accommodation on twin sharing basis. Authors of selected abstracts will be communicated by 23rd June 2015. The deadline for completed papers is 15th August 2015. Please note: Papers to be presented at the conference should be unpublished before. Due to logistical constraints, Sappho for Equality can only bear costs of travel, food, and accommodation for one outstation participant per paper/performance. Sappho for Equality may publish the papers in future. In that case the authors will be informed if their papers are selected for publication. For further clarification, please call: 033-24419995 (Tuesday-Saturday 12-8pm & Sunday 12-6pm).
Media LGBT Interface II
Call for Participation Date: 25th February 2015 Venue: Rotary Sadan, Kolkata, Time: 3 PM to 7 PM
Sappho for Equality is organizing the second Media LGBT Interface on 25th February 2015. This event will be a platform to create dialogues between representatives from media houses, students/researchers from Media Studies disciplines, LGBTIQ activists and anyone, who want to participate in the program. We conducted the first Media LGBT Interface in the August 2014, where we discussed with the mainstream media representations of LGBTIQ issues, topics, lives, activism through print and electronic media. Our enriching experience steers us to a second program where we want to engage not only with media houses, but also with students from different media studies disciplines (journalism, mass communication, film making etc.) to discuss the interrelationship between media and LGBTIQ lives and movement. Since Sappho for Equality is working at various levels with the youth population, we want to involve students in media studies, whose voices can look into LGBTIQ discourses and involve media more critically. The objectives of the program are to engage and network with the mainstream media on LGBTIQ issues and activism and to encourage aspiring students to think about non-normative issues. To address these, we will organise a debate to unfold the interesting, critical and pertinent issues facing media and LGBTIQ activism.
The Motion of the Debate reads: Media Sensationalizes LGBTIQ Lives There will be two one-time awards of INR 10,000/- each to two best speakers, speaking for and against the motion. Interested students are requested to send a 300 word write up of their stand (both for and against the motion) and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org along with their current CVby 31st January 2015. Selected debaters will be informed by 10th February. Debating language can be Bangla, English or combination. The selected/two best speakers will be expected to engage with Sappho for Equality and know about the LGBTIQ movement and will publish at least one/two articles/audio-visual programs within a year. Please contact us at 03324419995 (12 to 8 pm, Tuesday to Saturday) or at 9831518320 (10 am to 9 pm, all days) for any queries and visit our website: www.sapphokolkata.in for updates.
Sexuality Academy Call for Applications
Date:11th to 15th February, 2015
Sappho for Equality is announcing the third Sexuality Academy (Jaunatar Pathshala) to be held between 11th and 15th February 2015. Sexuality Academy/Jaunatar Pathshala is a space to talk, learn, discuss and share different aspects of gender-sexuality, gender-sexual identities and practices. The first academy in 2013 was dedicated towards exploring connections and bridges between gender-sexuality and other rights movements, especially the women's rights movement. The second academy in 2014 focused upon youth and their role in gender-sexuality activism. This year we are looking forward to an exchange program between youth of Bangladesh and India. How do the youth population from these two countries perceive gender-sexuality, both experientially and cognitively, how far their experience are similar or different, what they can learn from each other in the gender-sexual context will be explored in the third academy. Together we will try to create a more challenging and exciting learning space through 'Jaunatar Pathshala'! The Academy will be exploring on the conceptual frameworks of sex, gender, sexuality, different terminologies and gender-sexuality discourses from socio-cultural, health, movements and other perspectives. We are inviting applications from students, working individuals (age: 18 to 28) who are interested to participate in this residential academy. Language of instruction will be mainly Bangla, therefore a proper knowledge of Bangla is necessary. Please write to us in Bangla or English a 200 word piece on why you want to take part in the academy and mail it to email@example.com along with your CV. Participants should be willing to join this academy, which will be conducted away from Kolkata. There is no registration fee. The applications must reach us by 30th Jan. Selected candidates will be informed by 5th Feb, 2015. For further queries please call at 03324419995 (12 to 8 pm, Tuesday to Saturday) or at 9831518320 (10 am to 9 pm, all days).
23rd issue of Swakanthey will be available at 39th International Kolkata Book fair 2015
Dates: 28th Jan to 8th Feb 2015
The 23rd issue of Swakanthey / In Our Own Voice of Sappho for Equality is knocking at your door. Swakanthey first launched in 2004 Kolkata Bookfair, is a bi-annual and bi-lingual magazine that publishes articles, fictional prose and poetry pieces on LGBTIQ issues, gender-sexuality discourses. In the last eleven years journey Swakanthey has created a wide readership both at home and abroad, and widely acclaimed from researchers to general readers. In the 39th International Kolkata Book Fair 2015, you will find Sappho for Equality's table in the Little Magazine Enclosure, with the latest issues and old issues of Swakanthey and other publications. This year we have another surprise for you – Swakanthey Collection / Swakanthey Sankalan (two collections of selected pieces from Swakanthey Magazine respectively in English and Bangla from year 2004 to 2014). Our volunteers will be hawking Swakanthey also in the Book Fair ground. We must keep a watch out!
The Rainbow Carnival 7th December 2014 at RabindraSadan Ground, Kolkata
The Rainbow Carnival organized by Sappho for Equality is a daylong fun filled fiesta to celebrate diversity of gender-sexual identities and desires.A very special cultural corner is created where groups and individuals put up a bouquet of performances after sundown – dance, music, theatre, every performance following the central theme of love, celebration, diversity and rights of gender-sexually marginalized persons.All are requested to join the Rainbow Carnival celebrating love, diversity and rights.
This is the consecutive third year when Sappho for Equality will usher in the International Human Rights day (10th December) and bring forward the questions of some very important human rights, every person's right to love and live and be happy as they are without fear through the Rainbow Carnival. Sappho for Equality wanted this carnival to be space welcoming all – persons identifying as LGBTQ or identifying as straight/heterosexual or nothing. It is an opportunity to open doorways to dialogue, communicate and understand the so-called 'other' and take active steps to overrule the 'othering command'. This carnival has become a creative/active space to celebrate happiness, diversity, love and self expression. Through fun and games the carnival encourages participants to think out of the boxes, accept diversity, express freely and openly. Information cum sales stalls and tables are provided where food and fashion create their own special festive ambience by LGBTQ community based organizations and individuals.
Mass Awareness Programme "Together We Are" 29th November 2014 from 3 PM – 6 PM at Sukanta Sadan, Barrackpore
The programme will feature students and teachers of collages collaborating with Sappho for Equality talking about their experiences of participating in the programme. This will be followed by screening of a short feature film 'Abar Jodi Ichchha Karo', directed by Debolina, produced by Sappho for Equality. The programme will end with an interactive session will be conducted by the youth volunteers where the audience. All are welcome to join this programme.
For the last one year Sappho for Equality is working with college students beyond the jurisdiction of the city Kolkata on issues of gender-sexuality, rights violation, violence and creating resistance. The end of this pilot year an interactive public programme with students, teachers, parents and other interested individuals is being organised at Barrackpore Sukanta Sadan to mark the end of the first phase and beginning of the second. Through the yearlong project 'Together We Are', Sappho for Equality is trying to motivate and mobilise the youth population to create a group of conscientious social advocates working to create positive changes in the gender-sexuality rights arena. The public programme scheduled on 29th November is going to be a culmination of a togetherness shared by Sappho for Equality and students, teachers and other members of the colleges that we were working with. Through this yearlong process we have been able to create a group of youth volunteers who are collaborating with us to organise the public programme. The programme is also going to be an interface between these youth volunteers and the general audience where they will explain their stake in this project.
DIALOGUES: Calcutta International LGBT Film and Video Festival 19th – 23rd November 2014 at Maxmueller Bhaban, 8 Ballygunge Circular Road, Kolkata – 700019
The 8th edition of DIALOGUES, 2014 unfurls 39 films from 22 countries in its five day program from 19th to 23rd November 2014. This year's film festival presents 8 feature films, 9 documentaries, 2 music videos and 18 short films. Feature films include "Facing Mirrors" from Iran, "Two Weddings and a Funeral" from South Korea, "Igloo" form Argentina, "Cloudburst" form Canada, "Aimee and Jaguar" form Germany, "Spider Lilies" from Taiwan, "Frangipani" from Sri Lanka and are a rare concoction, discussing LGBT lives from different perspectives and milieus. The 9 documentaries, digs into different vignettes of LGBT movement, sexuality rights and sexual violence, trans issues, performing different gender roles, life histories of charismatic personalities, that not only inform us, but make us think. The short film collection from IAWRT, Berlinale shorts, Dresden shorts and Other Shorts from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Japan are a platter of delight that open up myriads of situations, expression on LGBTIQ issues. This year's special attractions are the two discussions being organised along with film screenings. The panel discussion day 1, 'Borders are Always Crowded: Exploring the voices form the Margins' that aims to explore themes on borders, sexualities, marginalisation, moving beyond queer films and looking into the situations of each represented country in its combat with the LGBTIQ movement. The panel brings in renowned South Asian activists from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan and India to weave the stories of struggle along with open participation from the audience. The round-table discussion on day 2, 'Towards greater co-operation in arena of queer films and queer arts programming in South Asia and beyond: The Requirements, Possibilities and Dangers aims at sharing, understanding and analysing the possibilities and challenges surrounding queer arts and queer film making. Open to an invited audience, this round table discussion is designed purposely to overcome the barriers and challenges concerning creation and production of queer art, where LGBTIQ issues are in constant process of marginalisation. For Detailed Schedule please follow the link below http://issuu.com/dialogues/docs/dialogues_2014_detailed_schedule
Objective: DIALOGUES has carved its niche in the cultural fabric of Calcutta, India, by providing the much-needed cultural outlet of the queer community and also by celebrating the works of independent film makers from different countries on LGBTIQ issues in its eight long years. It is the oldest queer film festival organized by autonomous queer collaborative project in India. DIALOGUES a festival of fun and fervour is also a festival proclaiming rights and equality and thus marks its name in the history of LGBT movement in India. The Festival is put together by Sappho for Equality, Pratyay Gender Trust and Goethe Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan, Kolkata.
Storyboard/Synopsis with Treatment Note for signature film for DIALOGUES: Calcutta International LGBT Film & Video Festival 2014
Theme: democracy & sexuality – troubled frontiers Shortlisted Storyboard/Synopsis with Treatment Note will be awarded Rupees Fifty Thousand (Rs.50000/-) to be made into the signature film by the submitting filmmaker. Since its beginning in 2007, DIALOGUES: Calcutta International LGBT Film & Video Festival commissioned an independent filmmaker for a signature film for the festival each year. These signature films, extremely diverse in content and style – from conceptual pieces to animation videos – every year, has stood to signify the spirit of DIALOGUES LGBT Film & Video Festival. This year, DIALOGUES invites ideas from independent filmmakers – both professional and amateur – and opens this call for submission. Submissions are expected to be in the format of a story board – for a signature film – on the theme: democracy & sexuality – troubled frontiers In our societies ruled by the moral/ immoral public/ private equal/ unequal dichotomy does democracy care about sexuality? Or does the two share a deeply conflicted relationship? Is it possible to speak about this connection between these two apparently disconnected terms? How do we explore and understand the ways, for example, in which democracy seeks to accommodate and appropriate the sexual? In this world, can citizenship thus be exercised with the same meaning and freedom or value in every dimension of social life including that of our sexualities? How do we transform into reality a dream where sexuality acquires a meaning in all areas of our lives including the social, cultural and political? One way to resolve this issue would be uniting these contradicting worlds into a single sphere of citizenship, in which women, men and others of all sexual orientations and or gender identities are protagonists. Perhaps it is necessary for us then to define – beyond the typical liberal discourse – what we mean by freedom, equality, democracy, citizenship and sexual rights as human rights.
Duration of Storyboard: One minute
Last Date of Submission of Storyboard: September 23, 2014 by 5 pm
Submissions can only be made by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Shortlisted candidates will be notified for pitching Decision on the winning submission will be notified by first week of October 2014
Final submission of Signature film must be made by October 25, 2014
DIALOGUES was launched in 2007 as an annual cultural event in the city of Calcutta, already used to hosting diverse film and video festivals covering different genres and aspects. The festival is a celebration of writers, directors, actors and their work dealing with gay lesbian, bisexual, and transgender themes and issues. The Festival focuses on showcasing feature films, shorts, and videos from national and international filmmakers, typically highlighting major feature films of interest to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, simultaneously providing a much-needed venue for independent film and video from India and abroad on these themes. This festival will include films from around the country and abroad. The Festival is put together by SAPPHO FOR EQUALITY and PRATYAY GENDER TRUST in collaboration with GOETHE INSTITUT/ MAX MUELLER BHAVAN KOLKATA
RAINBOW CARNIVAL 2013
DIALOGUES: 7th CALCUTTA LGBT FILM & VIDEO FESTIVAL Nov.21-24, 2013
For detailed schedule please click the following link http://issuu.com/dialogues/docs/final_schedule_for_dialogues_2013 Passes are being distributed at Max Mueller Bhavan, Kolkata from 16th Nov. 2013 onward (including 17th, which is a Sunday) on first come first served basis from 12 noon to 6 pm.
National Queer Conference 2013 : Gender-Sexuality: Exploring the Conjoined Possibilities
During September 13-15, 2013 at Vivekananda Hall, Jadavpur University, Kolkata Organized by Sappho for Equality
IMPORTANT: THE LAST DATE FOR SUBMITTING ABSTRACTS HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO JULY 10, 2013
Call for Abstracts
Sappho for Equality is organizing a conference titled Gender-Sexuality: Exploring the Conjoined Possibilities to be held between September 13 and 15, 2013 at Vivekananda Hall, Jadavpur University, Kolkata. For the last 14 years, from 1999 to 2013, Sappho for Equality is working for the rights and social justice of persons with non-normative gender-sexual orientations. Within this broad spectrum we have taken up issues of lesbians, bisexual women and transmen, i.e female to male transpersons to work as specific agenda of the organization. But Sappho for Equality as an open forum also provides space to persons belonging to any gender-sexual identity to join us and raise voice against the collective workings of hetero-patriarchy, homophobia, and otherization on the basis of non-normative gender-sexual orientation. So we traverse between broad to specific and specific to broad, all the time. In this journey we also traverse between gender and genders, sexuality and sexualities, cross cutting each other, working with each other, challenging each other and changing each other. At one point in our life of organizational activism, we realized these terms to be inseparable for our understanding of either gender or sexuality. Gender and sexuality from that point onward (from 2006, after the 7th National Conference of the Autonomous Women's Movements when we tried to question and challenge the very idea of womanhood as a biological identity) came to us as a conjoined term gender-sexuality, and we tried to introduce this idea to the gender rights and women's rights organizations to understand and intervene against patriarchy. Patriarchy became hetero-patriarchy from that point in time for us. Today, gender & sexuality are accepted as complimentary notions by academics and to some extent activists. We want to further delve deep into these notions, and bring out the fruits of this conjunction for further use. As an activist forum we need to see how the conjoined notion helps us in our movement for social justice, and we feel it is important to work more concertedly on this notion by conceptualizing, expanding, voicing, representing, contextualizing, searching and performing gender-sexuality. The sub themes for this conference sprout out of these needs. They are: Conceptualizing Gender-Sexuality – theorizing/defining the notion Expanding the scope of Gender-Sexuality – experimenting with the notion to open newer possibilities Voicing Gender-Sexuality – lived experience sharing, anecdotal narratives of individuals or organizations Representing Gender-Sexuality – depiction of the notion in different creative forms like film, books, plays, poetry, media etc. Contextualizing Gender-Sexuality in Social Justice Movement – how and whether the social justice movement has worked with the notion Searching for the Margin of Margins – finding out what is the furthest margin of the notion and why it is the furthest Performing Gender-Sexuality – performing and queering the performance exploring the notion We are, therefore, inviting abstracts from young and senior students, research scholars and teachers, development architects, activists and thought leaders on any of these sub themes, which should reach us on or before 5th July 2013 at email@example.com. The abstract should be in English, within 500 words. There is no registration fee for participation. Outstation participants will be provided with AC 3-tier train fare and accommodation on twin sharing basis. We will communicate with authors of selected abstracts by 15th July 2013 and will expect the fully developed papers to reach us by 15th August 2013. N.B. Papers to be presented at the conference should be unpublished before. Only for Sub theme 7 more than one people is allowed as participant if the presentation is performance based. But Sappho for Equality will only provide for 5 persons' (maximum, and in case of outstation participants only) travel and accommodation. Sappho for Equality may publish the papers in future. In that case the authors will be informed if their papers are selected for publication. For further clarification please contact at: Phone: 033 24419995 (Tuesday-Saturday 12-8pm & Sunday 12-6pm)
SEXUALITY ACADEMY, March 13-16, 2013
We, at Sappho, were trying to develop a comprehensive idea of violence and violation, generally happening on biological and self identified women and locate sexuality as an overarching issue related to these along with gender as an important category of analysis. The Sexuality Academy is a result of such thoughts and ideas that we had developed over a long period of time. The Academy will try to provide a basic theoretical understanding of sexuality and sexualities, connect it with the 'self' and explore the interconnectivity between sexuality and other development issues. The academy is designed for the explicit need of the Bengali speaking front line social workers of organisations working on specialised rights/development issues to forge a strong linkage with sexuality.
Sappho for Equality won GO Visible Award on 16th Dec 2012 at ILGA World Conference at Stockholm, Sweden
The European Parliament's Intergroup on LGBT Rights has granted us the Get Organized and Visible Award for our work towards equality for Lesbian, Bisexual women and Transmen in Eastern India. http://ilga2012.org/go-visible-award-to-india-saint-lucia-and-zimbabwe/
THE RAINBOW CARNIVAL, 9th December 2012, 12-8pm, Rabindra Sadan Ground, Kolkata … a first ever open-to-all CARNIVAL celebrating colours of diverse gender-sexual identities in Eastern India.
DIALOGUES: 6th Annual Calcutta Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Film & Video Festival
Click for Detailed Schedule : http://issuu.com/dialogues/docs/dialogues_2012_final_schedule_with_synopses Free entry passes are being distributed from 20.11.2012 at the venue during 12 pm-6 pm. Limited seats! Hurry! Collect your passes!
DIALOGUES: 5th Annual Calcutta Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Film & Video Festival
ORGANISED BY SAPPHO FOR EQUALITY AND PRATYAY GENDER TRUST IN COLLABORATION WITH Goethe-Institut Kolkata Max Mueller Bhavan 8, Ballygunge Circular Road Kolkata 700019, India Welcome to Calcutta's very own film festival that celebrates different expressions of sexuality and gender. This is the fifth time the festival is going to take place in the city. For the past four years, DIALOGUES – Annual Calcutta Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender Film & Video Festival has contributed to the much-cherished film viewing culture of Calcutta by supporting the works of lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer and transgender artists, and by providing a much-needed cultural outlet for these communities in Calcutta and India. Organised by Sappho for Equality and Pratyay Gender Trust, the Festival this year is being organised in collaboration with Goethe Institute/Max Mueller Bhavan Kolkata. The Annual Calcutta Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender Film & Video Festival typically highlights major feature films of interest to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. DIALOGUES strives to become a space that provides a venue for independent film and video from India and abroad that challenge our notions of sexualities and genders. In its four-year history, apart from featuring contemporary and classic world class lesbian gay bisexual & transgender feature films, DIALOGUES has also screened some interesting Indian shorts, and videos from experimental, amateur and professional filmmakers from India. Please click the link below for the detailed schedule. http://issuu.com/dialogues/docs/dialogues2011_detailed_schedule FREE PASSES WILL BE DISTRIBUTED ON FIRST COME FIRST SERVED BASIS FROM 12.12.2011 DURING 12-5 PM AT THE FESTIVAL VENUE Goethe-Institut Kolkata Max Mueller Bhavan 8, Ballygunge Circular Road Kolkata 700019, India Phone: +91 33 2486-6398, 2486-6424 FOR DETAILS PLEASE CONTACT 09831518320 (10AM-9PM) or 03324419995 (12-8 PM)
National Queer Conference 2011: non-normativity nevertheless!
During 23rd to 25th September 2011 Vivekananda Hall , Jadavpur University, Kolkata, Organized by Sappho for Equality
CALL FOR ABSTRACTS
Normativity or the absence of it has intrigued the thinking person's mind since these terms were first coined. We all had begun with the understanding of non-normative as the gender/sexual 'deviant', who cannot be stereotyped within the binary understandings of the 'normative' society. It normatively meant the LGBTIKQ, but in today's context, the umbrella term LGBTIKQ is under question and so are the non-normative characteristics. We, at Sappho for Equality on the other hand, have raised questions as to how normative is the 'taken for granted' non-normative? And what is the notional normative? Is it that the society, the state, the mindset of a certain milieu, determines normativity or its absence? Is it a cultural construct? Is it temporal? Does the given non-normative actually carry a very structured normative boundary within? We have raised questions and we want not just answers but a flow of understanding, exchange of thoughts, sharing of ideas and emergence of a new cult! Calling all interested individuals, groups, students, activists, young professionals, academicians to think, challenge and rewrite (non)normativity. To bring out the binary bondage of the supposedly non-normative and to unearth the potential non-normative wrongly bound within normative expressions. It is a conference to experiment with your wackiest ideas and consolidate your structured-most expressions towards a kaleidoscopic understanding of (non)normativity. We welcome you all to create some challenging ideas that will change the whole notion of (non)normativity for all of us! We have developed a few sub themes so that you are able to channelize your thoughts better.
Sub-theme 1: Understanding (non)normativity: In this section we would be looking at papers that deal with historical, sociological and cultural theories related to (non)normativity in an attempt to challenge the existing and create a more comprehensive definition.
Sub-theme 2: Politicizing (non)normativity: In this section papers on the politics around (non)normativity, its usage in the social sector, and critique of the existing understanding could be presented.
Sub-theme 3: Gendering (non)normativity: In this section (non)normativity within the gender binary and how the idea of 'variant' has arrived, could be discussed. Questioning the existing binary and recreating cultural practices can also be a part of this sub theme.
Sub-theme 4: Sexualizing (non)normativity. This is a section where (non)normativity will be bounced against sexuality, sexual practices, sexual relationships, and the (non)normative process of sexualisation of an individual, could be discussed.
Sub-theme 5: Living (non)normativity. In this section, real life (non)normativity will be discussed and challenged.
Sub theme 6: Performing (non)normativity. In this section creative expressions of (non)normativity will be portrayed and discussed. These may include short films, dramatic expressions, poster presentation or musicals or any other creative expression that brings out/challenges/defines/defies (non)normativity. Media plays an important role in controlling the social psyche. Media and its usage can, therefore, be included in every sub-theme. Conference language is English, but Hindi as the national language and Bangla as the regional language can be included especially for sub-theme 6. But presenters would be requested to provide the organizers English translation of their presentations well in advance for circulation if their paper is selected. Each presenter will get 15 minutes to present her/his paper or performance which will be followed by a 15 minutes discussion. Please send your 500 words abstract on or before 6th August 2011, on any sub theme (not more than two; only one will be selected) to firstname.lastname@example.org and join the gang! Selected presenters will be provided with free accommodation and travel (AC 3-tier train fare) expenses. There is no registration fee for participation. You can also register as non-presenter participant of the conference. For that please mail to email@example.com by 6th August 2011, since number of seats is limited. For outstation non-presenter participants, unfortunately, we will not be able to arrange for accommodation and travel due to constraint of funds.
DIALOGUES: 4th Annual Calcutta LGBT Film and Video Festival 2010, Nov 19-21.
Films and media concerning lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender communities
WHEN & TIME Inauguration on Friday, November 19, 2010 at 6 pm. Screening of films continue on Saturday, Nov 20 & Sunday, November 21, 2010.
WHERE Max Mueller Bhavan (Goethe-Institut) Auditorium, 8 Ballygunge Circular Road, Calcutta 700 019 (Near Crossing of Ballygunge Circular Road and Gurusaday Dutt Road)
ABOUT THE FESTIVAL & FILMS SELECTION (HIGHLIGHTS) The Annual Calcutta Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Film & Video Festival is an emerging space to showcase films and allied media of concerning matter to the diverse communities and individuals, made around the world and in India. It also provides a much-needed venue for independent film and video, dealing with the issue of queer sexualities from India and abroad. Started in 2007, DIALOGUES is a yearly festival, currently in its 4th year. This year, the Festival is scheduled between Friday, November 19 and Sunday, November 21, 2010 at Max Mueller Bhavan (Goethe Institut) Auditorium, Calcutta. The acclaimed feature film 'Navarasa' by ace cinematographer and director Santosh Sivan is the inaugural film. This apart, DIALOGUES will showcase Anders Als Die Andern (Different from Others) by Richard Oswald on Sunday, November 21, 2010. Different from Others is the first major gay-themed film ever made, and still a work of genuine emotional power. Banned soon after its release in 1919, later burned by the Nazis and believed lost for decades, it only surfaced in a fragmented print found in the Ukraine. The film, painstakingly restored, using newly-discovered film segments, still photos, and intertitles gleaned from documents (including censorship records) found in several different archives. The other festival attraction is Tanaz Eshaghian's critically acclaimed Be Like Others. In the Islamic Republic of Iran, a country with strict social mores and traditional values, sex-change operations are legal. Yet homosexuality is still punishable by death. With Iran's international arms negotiations dominating news headlines worldwide, a very private kind of drama is unfolding behind the scenes. Highly feminine and attracted to members of the same sex, yet forced to live in secret for fear of retribution, a generation of young Iranian men are adopting an identity legally allowed to them —transsexual. Iranian-American filmmaker Tanaz Eshaghian accompanies several young men as they contemplate and prepare for their transformation, then follows them into and out of surgery. Intimate and unflinching, BE LIKE OTHERS is a fascinating look at those on the fringes of Iranian life—those looking for acceptance through the most radical of means.
An workshop on Saturday, November 20, 2010 at 10 a.m. by film director Raka Dutta. TRANSCENDING BOUNDARIES: Exploring Queerness Through Cinema Raka Dutta is an independent filmmaker based in Calcutta. Her Chinese Whispers was selected amongst other leading film festivals, at Cannes International Film Festival in 2007. Amor (2005) and Little Mermaids (2008) are two of Raka's films that are part of 4th DIALOGUES. A Bouquet of Short Films by independent film makers including the winning entry from the French festival, Bonjour India, 2009. Among these the concluding film of this year's festival is Taar Cheye Se Onek Aro (More Than A Friend), a 35 minutes' docu-feature produced by Sappho for Equality, directed by Debalina with Ushashi Chakraborty and Mallika Majumder in the lead roles. The film More than a Friend explores the lives and outlooks of four characters in the context of a growing awareness about same-sex relationships in India. The film is interspersed with real-life interviews of people belonging to various sections of the society, who express their views on many related concerns and share their experiences of humiliation and anxiety. The film does not attempt at answering all the questions it raises, but presents the multifaceted nature of the debates around the subject.
DIALOGUES: 3rd Annual Calcutta LGBT Film and Video Festival 2009
Excavation of Feminine Memories: Allied Event of Dialogues 2009
An Exhibition "Excavation of Feminine Memories" (12th -14th June at Max Mueller Bhavan, Kolkata) on imageries of Homo-erotic Love in Ancient Indian Tradition by Giti Thadani in partnership with Sappho for Equality and Pratyay Gender Trust. Giti Thadani, a radical lesbian activist, visual artist, photographer and a Delhi-based independent researcher, is excavating the concealed tapestry of feminine kinship, genealogy and sexual or erotic bonding between women in ancient Indian traditions. She traveled across the country over the last 25 years and photographed temples and images of the goddess. 20 of those images are the part of this exhibition. The exhibition presentation is a poetic photographic journey into the archetypal philosophies and cosmologies of the Shaktic feminine through a dramatic interplay of visuals depicting same–sex erotica. She says, "Homosexuality is very much part and parcel of Indic histories. In fact there were many celebratory traditions that celebrated it. There is ample iconography and textual material to prove this. What however is important is that these histories have been ignored, ravaged by different monotheistic invasions. Further these histories have for the most part been written from a completely heterosexual point of view – whether coming from the hindutva, orientalist or even what poses as the 'secular' academic. In effect the technique of othering homosexuality as 'western' is not unique to India. Most patriarchal cultures will invisibilize their own homosexual traditions and then blame it on the 'other'. On Friday, June 12, 2009 [3.00PM – 3.30PM]: Inauguration of Exhibition "Excavation of Feminine Memories"
DIALOGUES: 2nd Annual Calcutta LGBT Film and Video Festival 2008
Sappho for Equality & Pratyay Gender Trust present film & video festival Calcutta 2008. Weekend of International Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender Film & Videos to be screened during 2nd Annual Event. Screening Classic & Contemporary World LGBT Films & Indian Short Films in Video Format. Venue: Max Mueller Bhavan | Saturday June 14 & Sunday June 15, 2008. DIALOGUES is the Annual Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) Film & Video Festival of Calcutta. In June 2007, Sappho for Equality, an activist forum for lesbian, bisexual and transgender women's rights movement and Pratyay Gender Trust, a sexualities and human rights advocacy initiative that focus on the rights of people with marginalised sexualities launched the Calcutta Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender Film & Video Festival. The festival was launched as an annual cultural event in the city of Calcutta, already used to hosting diverse film and video festivals covering different genres and aspects. This year, again for two days, Calcutta is going to be treated to quality entertainment, featuring contemporary & classic world class lesbian gay bisexual & transgender feature films, as well as an interesting section of Indian shorts, and videos from experimental, amateur and professional filmmakers from India. These shorts – ranging from 4 minutes to 35/ 40 minutes are the highlight of this year's festival. Passes are being distributed on first come first served basis from Max Mueller Bhavan (12pm to 5.30pm) from 9th June'08