A digital magazine on sexuality in the Global South: We are working towards cultivating safe, inclusive, and self-affirming spaces in which all individuals can express themselves without fear, judgement or shame

authenticity

A still from the film 'A Kid Like Jake'. In a city-background with houses to the right and a car to the left, three figures: a blonde woman wearing a black and white striped t-shirt, blue jeans, and a beige coat, carrying a brown bag on her shoulder is holding a child's hand from the left. The child is wearing a purple, glittery tutu and a blue shirt. Their arms are outstretched and on the right side, held by a man wearing a peach shirt, blue hoodie and blue jeans. He has black hair. Both the man and the woman are looking at the child.

Review: I see you

My friend’s son, too, likes wearing tutus and frilly skirts. Every time they go shopping for clothes, he heads to the girl’s section and picks out the frilliest outfit. At check out, invariably the cashier asks if the pretty outfit is for his sister and he confidently says it is for him. Often he wears these outfits to school. His confidence comes from his mother’s acceptance of him and her understanding of his gender expansiveness. It helps that she is a sociologist, but there is a constant pushback from society including from his peers at school who bully the little boy. But it is the constant support from his mother and family that allows him to remain confident and thrive whilst being different.
An illustrated poster depicting a black woman with exaggerated body parts, wearing a yellow bandana, carrying a stick in her left hand, and facing sideways. She is wearing a patterned half-robe and smoking. On her hip rests Cupid, toying with their bow, and a speech bubble saying 'Take care of your Hearte' in cursive. They are on a green path of grass.

Freak Shows: Looking at Human Bodies on Exhibit

No two human bodies are alike, and our different bodies arouse curiosity. But our fascination for the aesthetics of the perfect human body has historically created a space within art, science and religion for the examination of the ‘abnormal’ and the ‘imperfect’.  As a result, some bodies are normalised while others become oddities. Freak Shows, and to a large extent, circuses and even exhibits in medical or anthropological museums particularly stand out for dehumanising and objectifying these different anatomies, and oftentimes subjecting these bodies to violence and discrimination.
A screenshot of Kalki Koechlin's rendition of 'The Printing Machine'. The background has a fade-effect of newspaper headlines. To the left is Kalki's face till the beginning of her shoulders. She is looking directly at the camera. Her hair is tied with strands across her face. To the left, in big red lettering: KALKI an underneath it, in black and strikethrough: UNBLUSHED. 'BLUSH' is bold.

Video: Kalki Koechlin: The Printing Machine | Unblushed

Sharp and evocative, Kalki Koechlin’s spoken-word poem The Printing Machine lays bare the cycle of ceaseless and desensitised consumption engendered by the media. Kalki’s short and hard-hitting sentences, keys tap-tap-tapping, and the chrrs and grrs of printing machines bring out the urgency and sensationalism media narratives embody, turning incidents of violence into a stream of headlines that make us gasp and forget, gasp and forget.
A photograph of a brown coloured snail lying on green grass

Editorial: Vulnerability and Sexuality

Vulnerability – is it a condition we find ourselves in? A state of being we choose? Let’s keep it very simple: it depends on the approach we take to defining it. In the former approach, we are ‘done to’, while in the latter we are consciously ‘doing’.
An abstractly painted image with magenta and blue and splashes of red, yellow, and black colour. In the background, two brown-black silhouettes.

Issue in Focus: The Heart of Being

To chase down our own vulnerabilities around sexuality is a short run around the corner, five minutes ago, last night sleeping alone, with a lover, a partner who lost interest, the Insta post that leaves you feeling you’re not good enough for the hug, the kiss, the cuddle and are you perhaps the A of LGBTQIA+?
A photograph, against a dark background, of a zoomed-in fence with a square lock hanging. The lock is painted red, left un-coloured in a heart shape in the middle.

Should I Say I Love You?

Being vulnerable helps boost our self-esteem and self-worth by pushing us out of our comfort-zone. It provides us with an opportunity to overcome obstacles and reach deep down within ourselves to find strength and confidence to keep going even when the odds are against us.

There I sat down and wept

“Be yourself, Sarah. Awkward smiles, empty silences, weird laughter, and all. It’s just a part of being human. Loving someone physically is never not awkward. Even if it’s a monogamous relationship. It’s only the comfort of familiarity that makes you think otherwise.”

Reclining Vulnerability

Through multiple maquettes, I finally came across (since I myself did not know what the result of the form or figure would be) the Reclining Lady. She represents confident femininity and vulnerability. The feeling one has after taking a bath and sitting in the nude, drying oneself in unabashed nakedness.
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