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). She is also the…
Photo of a Bharatanatyam artist Anita Ratnam in traditional bharatnatyam dance pose and dress-up.
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।
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