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

intimacy

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 a bench on a rocky-slightly bushy terrain. The bench is facing the other direction, which stretches out into wilderness. The sky in tinged with purple, blue, yellow, and pink.

Who would we be if we weren’t trying to survive? A Conversation on the Survival Myth

What does it mean to hold space and extend compassion to ourselves and our  communities? Rachel Cargle reminds us to ask ourselves: who  would we be if we weren’t trying to survive? Similarly, what would care and vulnerability look like if we weren’t trying to survive? The anarchy of queerness constantly and necessarily resists the capitalist engineering of the Survival Myth: one that wants us to endure an isolated life instead of embracing it with the radically transformative joy of togetherness. Caring for yourself precedes, succeeds, and exists alongside caring for the collective.
On a pink background, an illustration of a person of colour with black curly hair. On each side are plants, hanging and potted including leaves, cacti, and flowers. The person's arms are wrapped around their torso.

The Politics of Self Care and Feminism

In a time when reason is more valued than emotion, unravelling and understanding the politics of self-care becomes all the more fundamental for us, and the movements we seek to develop and build. When our bodies, our emotions and our needs become weapons to be used against us, acts of defiance become rooted in thinking about your self and how we practice it. I find I am faced with more questions than answers, but I also know that asking the questions is the first step to finding the answers
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.
A graphic illustration with a black, inky tree with branches outlined by a silhouette of a face.

MY VAGINA IS DUKHA?

Ageing vaginas in ageing female bodies are joked about. But a vagina shouldn’t have the task of pleasing anybody but itself first. To begin with, we’ll have to love and respect our vaginas in order to pleasure them. Love them just as they are. If they feel a little dry, don’t despair. Use a lubricant or a little coconut oil. If my labia are unshapely, they’re still my labia and respond very nicely to gentleness and tenderness. If I don’t love and respect my ageing body, in need of gentle, loving, patient care, then who will, for God’s sake?
A photograph of a person's arm and hand. The background of a couch with a blue duvet is blurred, and the focus is on the person's hands, with brown nail-paint, and a blue pen in their hands. They are writing in a spiral bound notebook. Beside them is a black cup.

Dear Diary: The radically feminist creative journalling practice that nobody talks about

My journal has many entries that are speculative and fantastic. Writing about the mundane leads me to question the way the world operates and from there I frog-leap into a world of ideas where I imagine a radically different way of being. In my journal, I imagine a politics of care, community, and compassion. I become grand, valuable, and unstoppable, even in a world where I am sometimes made to feel small.
A photograph of a room with one window. The photo showcases the room as semicircular and has a black floor with a window reflected, and brown-white brick walls with a sunlit window.

On Confinements & Coexistence: Perspectives on the Impact of Covid-19 on the Mental Health of Women

Pandemics have a profound psychological impact. They are known to disrupt one’s sense of safety, security, certainty, control, concordance, and predictability in life events. Ever since the outbreak of Covid-19 the infection has caused a phase-shift from known ways of living. Human beings appear to have switched from a ‘growth-orientated lifestyle’ to a fear or…
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