A digital magazine on sexuality in the Global South

Author: Shweta Krishnan

Picture of a wooden door and door knocker, painted bright blue

Beauty Dictated; Beauty Discovered

Should we train it to think well, all these minds would see reason in similar things and they would come up with the same absolute reality – a universal Truth. That Truth would be a reflection of the Natural order for all humankind. That Truth alone would be beautiful.
picture of a female saint meditating in what looks like a forest like area. her eyes are closed and there are lines of paint on her forehead signifying religious faith
Akka Mahadevi

Issue in Focus: Power, Agency and Sexuality

Since all women do not share a common history, agency cannot and need not be located for all in an emancipatory discourse and in the recourse to resistance and subversion. For some, feminist agency and the realisation of one’s potential as gendered actors in the world can come from submitting to a discourse that others deem repressive.

NIVEDITA MENON: ON FEMINISM IN THE 21ST CENTURY

Nivedita Menon is a feminist writer and a political and social activist. She is a professor of political thought at Jawaharlal Nehru University, and writes for newspapers, the Economic and Political Weekly and for Kafila.org. She is also the author of Recovering Subversion: Feminist Politics Beyond the Law (2004) and Seeing Like A Feminist (2012).…
Bharatanatyam artist Anita Ratnam. Photography by Vipul Sangoi

DANCES OF DESIRE: FROM DEVADASIS TO MODERN STORYTELLERS

It is not entirely impossible to imagine that classical Indian dance is timeless or that the stories narrated in these dances have been handed down untouched and unshaped from ancient unrecorded times. Through dance it is easy to seek kinship with the apsaras in the epics, with the devadasis and courtesans, or watch the sensual movements and mudras…
Photograph of a live performance of Subhadraharanam. Pic Source: icultist via Flickr
Photograph of a live performance of Subhadraharanam. Photo Credit: Flickr

नृत्य और इच्छा की अभिव्यक्ति – देवदासियों से आधुनिक कथावाचकों तक का सफ़र

किसी शास्त्रीय नृत्य को देखने वाले एक आम दर्शक के रूप में मुझे लगा कि यह सब किस तरह से मुझसे और मेरे जीवन से सम्बद्ध है। इन नृत्य प्रदर्शनों में दिखाए जाने वाले कथानक अक्सर वे कहानियाँ होती है जिन्हें मैंने बचपन से सुना है फिर भी मुझे इसमें कोई विशेष रूचि नहीं लगती। लेकिन सुश्री रत्नम के दृष्टिकोण के आधार पर, पुराने कथानकों को आधुनिक रूप देने के उनके प्रयासों और किसी पुरानी परंपरा के लुप्त हो जाने पर दुःख प्रकट करने के स्थान पर नृत्य को एक नया रूप देने का के प्रयास को देखते हुए भरतनाट्यम और अन्य शास्त्रीय नृत्य अब और अधिक प्रसांगिक हो जाते हैं जिनसे आप आसानी से जुड जाते हैं।

Issue in Focus: “Is that Book Feminist?”

Fiction is a realm within which we can imagine the limitlessness of our feminist realities. By censoring fiction itself in an anxiety to perform what we understand as feminism, is to censor our imaginations, its subtle negotiations with reality and its potential in generating desires and dreams we hardly knew of. Does this mean we don’t critique books and movies? Definitely not! Critique is fun. Critique is important. Critique is how we grow. But the judgement needs to stop.

Issue in Focus: Colouring Within the Lines

When colours spill across, when a little bit of the red house-paint spills into the blue sky, or the brown door seems to meld in with the green grass, we see ‘errors’ that must be corrected in another attempt to preserve the perfect order of that emergent world.
Against the backdrop of the Taj Mahal, a field with trees and birds

Travelling

Note: Travelling is a poem by Eunice de Souza. I find it impossible to read a poem without layering it with my own memories. Here I read de Souza to explore privilege, gender divides and nostalgia, all of which I encountered while trying to figure out what exactly travelling was meant to be. Elephanta, Feb…
Picture of British comedian Miranda Hart sitting down

Issue In Focus: What’s In a Joke?

Last January, armed gunmen stormed the Paris office of the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing 12 and injuring 11, because the magazine published a satirical cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed. While the world condemned the violence and mourned the death of the artists, we were also forced to ask ourselves if joking sometimes goes too…
Book cover with white background. Line drawing of a woman from waist to thighs, naked. On top is written the author's name in black "Emily Nayoski". Below it in red in cursive is written, "COME as you are".

Book Review: Come As You Are

You should venture to read Emily Nagoski’s book, Come As You Are in public. Not because you want to make your sex life public, but because the cover with the outline of a naked woman’s body makes a powerful statement. It says you don’t care much for patriarchal notions of shame. (And it will honestly…
Still from a black and white Indian film, "Aurat" (1940). A mother with her three kids.

खान पान और यौनिकता

श्वेता कृष्णन द्वारा मैं लामाय* से बैंकाक के एक स्पा में मिली थी। वो बात करने को उत्सुक थी और उसने मुझे बताया था कि उसका गाँव बैंकाक से आठ घंटे की दूरी पर उत्तर में है। उसके पिता एक किसान थे जिनके पास अपनी ज़मीनें थी। जब तक वो स्कूल में पढ़ती थी तब…
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