A digital magazine on sexuality, based 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

Covid-19

Photo of Sameera Khan. She has long black hair and is standing in a garden. She is wearing a black kurta, a deep emerald dupatta and a black necklace.

Interview – Sameera Khan

But what has been amazing to witness is how quickly young women in particular, took to the ideas of Why Loiter? and pushed them even further, creating new movements to expand women’s rights to the public, including the right to be out late at night, to stretch the curfew at women’s hostels, to demand extended access to women’s toilets, to public transport etc.
Photo of a smartphone screen displaying the logos of Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Clubhouse.

A ‘Room’ of One’s Own – Sexuality, Self-expression, and Safe Spaces on Clubhouse

In theory, the concept of the app is a great one – it provides women, queer people, and people belonging to oppressed castes the tea-stall, cigarette-shop type of public spaces for conversation that are available to upper-caste cis het men. The relative anonymity acts like a safe cover, and the app affords a certain autonomy and agency to marginalised people to regulate the kind of conversation that goes on in rooms moderated by them.
A photograph of a number of multicoloured rainbows against the background of a blue sky.

Interview – This is what you bring to the table!

In this write up, we'd like to share a sense of what emerges from a compilation of these responses. This is based on the thoughts and feelings that come through for those of us here at In Plainspeak who have had the joy of reading the original responses as they came in to us. (Some of the quotations that follow have been slightly edited for flow and to help connect themes.) We know that most things in the realm of art, information and ideas lend themselves to a wide range of inferences and insights depending on the individuals making the inferences.
A photograph of a rocky landscape with a tabby cat sitting atop a grey rock, lined with green-brown grass, licking itself.

Editorial: Sexuality and Self-care

Continuing with our theme of self-care being about sustaining ourselves, our work, our movements, keeping the fires lit, and relating with love to ourselves, in our mid-month issue we bring you more articles looking at self-care from different perspectives – individual, queer, activist, collective, organisational, not necessarily separated, or in this order, of course.
A photograph of MHI director Raj Mariwala; she is playing with a grey-brown dog, squatting in grass.

Interview – Raj Mariwala

Self-care is influenced by the environment we inhabit, the way we relate to others, the way we negotiate with other living beings or structures. Self-care is also interlinked with other types of care – whether that is in community resources, psychosocial support, engagement with medical and health care institutions, and of course in collective agency and solidarity.
A photograph of a book-shelf, brown-black, with differently coloured books.

Caring and care-giving

Just as capitalism has learned how to co-opt feminism into its model, it has done the same to ‘wellness’, so much so it has become an industry of its own. Mental wellbeing, no matter how necessary and important it is, remains a luxury with more than half of our country either unaware of available mental health resources or not in a position to even afford therapy.
A green-bue gradient photograph of a field of grass and white flowers.

A ‘Peoples Self-Care’ In-the-Making: Perspectives on the Multiple Possibilities of Existence and Care

But self-care is not a clean and happy procedure, it is not definitively achievable when systematically explored. To understand the scope of self-care we need to see the ‘dark side’ of the landscape, and destroy the versions of self-care that denounce our plurality. In this fight, the only outcome can be a recognition of experiences beyond the wellness narrative structured around the neoliberal agenda. This article is an attempt at foregrounding some aspects of self-care that decentralise the prevalent commodification of it.
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