Our bodies become the form and medium through which we present ourselves to the outside world, engage with it, interact with it, perceive it and are perceived by it.
This issue of In Plainspeak while inviting us to embrace the joys and pleasure in movement, also questions the ways in which movements are facilitated or obstructed, visibilised or invisibilised, and the spaces that we must envision to find freedom in/to movement.
I’ve essentially thought of movement as a kind of freedom, but one that has the capacity to destabilise you in some way. My most creative moments are when I’m not moving, when I am in fact rooted and still.
In the video section, watch Tishani Doshi perform one of her most haunting and popular poems ‘Girls Are Coming Out of the Woods’. Using the movements of/in body, music and language, it is a powerful expression of Tishani’s expansive vision of resistance, freedom and solidarity in the face of violence.
This article explores how women are constructed as a ‘space’ manufactured by men to seek comfort, but void of having any active agency or participation in that space itself. I seek to bring this out in this article by drawing a parallel between the nineteenth century ‘Bharat Mata’ (Mother India) and the depiction of the twenty-first century ‘heroine’ in Bollywood movies.
100 issues, 8 years! Thank you, dear readers and contributors! As we planned for this issue to put on our…
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.
I am still coming to terms with my own femininity, as with new learnings I find myself regaining many facets of my personality which were lost while trying to ‘act like a man’ and ‘act tough’.
We are led to question what ‘safety’ really is: Will it be guaranteed by going gently, if at all, into that good night? Is it at all possible to freely and safely explore who we are and the world in which we live?
Members of a fandom are not just passive consumers but active co-creators who imagine and build new worlds around their objects of adoration. Fandom communities offer fans the freedom of being able to imagine, create and share all sorts of scenarios, including romantic, erotic and sexual ones.
There have been several recent examples of actors, movies and events being called out because of their lack of representation, like for the Oscars. With social media it is easier to create and distribute diverse art and also to voice the need for diversity. So it needs engagements and awareness in society. Change will happen once enough people demand that change.
If you live in an urban metropolitan city, you must have seen women dressed up in company uniform, carrying a heavy bag on their shoulders, their attire shouting a brand name with logos all over her. Their bodies become an advertising ground for a company’s marketing. Sometimes, the bag is a portable salon that they carry to their client’s (home), who book the beauty service using a mobile application. These ‘workers’ enroll themselves on the platform company that operates as an intermediary, to get bookings on-demand.
“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.”
I gave myself the freedom to choose. And I chose to re-examine my assumptions. Maybe it was possible to ask strange men for directions without being afraid of seeming vulnerable. Maybe I could plan my outfit without bothering about the fact that I would be travelling on public transport.
Many among us are called names, are greeted with aggressive taunts and jeers on the very streets we boldly occupy at least once every year,so we go on living docilely until the next Pride, when performative reclamation of spaces becomes possible.