A digital magazine on sexuality in the Global South

Public space

a colourful abstract pattern - mxiture of blue, yellow, orange and green

Editorial: Public Space and Sexuality

In our mid-month issue Shilpa Phadke brings us an interesting mix of ideas woven from narratives of pleasure, danger, and resistance, among others, with regard to the digital streets of online spaces, and explores the conditions of possibility that will allow us to have fun in the online public space that is the Internet...
A group of people standing in a line at Mumbai's Marine Drive

On Old Questions that Remain Important

While some of these questions seem old, they continue to be renewed in public debate on competing claims to public spaces. Ideas about public and private spaces also speak to the ways in which caste and class shape ideas about respectability, thus marking some places as ‘safe’ and others as ‘risky’.
two women walking down a street

साक्षात्कार: शिल्पा फडके

‘आप मटरगश्ती (लॉयटर) क्यों करना चाहेंगे?’ नारीवादी शोधकर्ता, अभिभावक, शिक्षक और सक्रियतावादी डॉ॰ शिल्पा फडके से पूछने के लिए एक बढ़िया सवाल है।
book cover for the bopok 'sexualness' by akshay khanna

Book Review: ‘Sexualness’ by akshay khanna

akshay khanna, who is a social anthropologist and a political activist, weaves the narrative of how the Queer body came to be included into juridical registers of the State as a citizen-subject. The book is divided into six parts starting with an Introduction. The tone of the book is already set before the introduction to the contents, when it starts with the lines of the historic poem “Hum Dekhenge” written by Faiz Ahmed Faiz in 1979. The book is based on multi-sited doctoral fieldwork carried out by akshay between October 2005 and February 2007. The introduction starts with a discussion around India’s modernity, sexuality and ‘sexualness’, moving on to talk about men holding hands in India, and the curiosity with which it is viewed by Europeans and North Americans...
Picture of Kalpana Vishwanath

Interview – Kalpana Viswanath

Dr. Kalpana Viswanath, researcher, and urban safety and gender rights activist, shares her thoughts on issues of Public Safety and Sexuality with In Plainspeak. Co-founder and CEO of SafetiPin, a social enterprise that uses data and technology to build safer, more inclusive and smart cities, Kalpana has led large gender rights projects globally.
"Women only" signage at Delhi metro stations

Where Do I Go?

As renowned queer scholar Judith Butler said, “For those who are still looking to become possible, possibility is a necessity." This is essential but also easier said than done.
(CC BY 2.0)

Love, Lust and PDA

Six years later (and out of such an abusive relationship), as I sit in a Gender Studies classroom discussing public and private spheres, being introduced to the feminist ideology of the personal being political, I reflect back and see my experiences as emerging from a complex discursive pattern. The peculiar way in which heterosexual romantic relationships are envisaged and the potentiality of them being disruptive of traditional arrangements of companionship requires them to be manifested outside of the four walls of home and family. Yet, one faces a situation of a pathetic lack of safe spaces within the public sphere and the traditional discourse of love being private and contained within the private sphere...
Back profile of two women walking on the street

Interview: Shilpa Phadke

‘Why would you want to loiter?’ is an excellent question to ask feminist researcher, parent, educator and activist Dr. Shilpa Phadke. Shilpa believes loitering, just being, just hanging out in public places, is about ‘claiming the city with your body’. One of the co-authors of the book, ‘Why Loiter: Women and Risk on Mumbai’s Streets’…
Women, Too, Have the Right to Fun

Women, Too, Have the Right to Fun

Relatively speaking, women, particularly upper-middle-class women, have greater legitimacy in the new privatized spaces of consumption like shopping malls and coffee shops than in public spaces like parks or promenades. However, these are far from uncontested spaces
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