Nadya Agrawal

Decolonize Drag by Kareem Khubchandani from OR Books

Can We Decolonize Drag?

March 4, 2024

Kareem Khubchandani is at once an academic, a writer, and a drag performer known as LaWhore Vagistan, and he puts every skillset to work in his new book Decolonize Drag. As drag increasingly enters the cultural mainstream with TV shows, Tik Tok filters, and political campaigns, greater numbers of people get a view into this … Read More

“Everyday Monuments” Focuses the Lens on Punjab’s Rooftop Sculptures

January 2, 2024

A typical rural Punjabi house photographed by Rajesh Vora in his new coffee table book Everyday Monuments might have thick marble walls, a red tiled roof, curved windows, a clothesline or a satellite dish, and a massive, handmade sculpture affixed to its water tank. The rooftops of Punjab are a canvas for NRI wealth and … Read More

“Ghosts, Monsters, and Demons of India” Gives Ghouls a Face

October 27, 2023

Covering over a million square miles, India is home to the full range of cryptids, malevolent spirits, and fiends. Rakesh Khanna and J. Furcifer Bhairav catalog them in their new illustrated encyclopedia “Ghosts, Monsters, and Demons of India.” Though shaggy in the storytelling and often lacking in spookiness, “Ghosts” provides one of the first comprehensive … Read More

“Letters to a Writer of Color” Offers Examples Not Judgements

March 14, 2023

In 2021, Priya Krishna asked “why do American grocery stores still have an ethnic food aisle?” The righteous anger of those interviewed underlined the main feeling of the piece: an ethnic food aisle is too small and too limiting for modern tastes. It is a racist conceit that smashes those cultures considered “ethnic” together while … Read More

Hulu’s “Foreigners Only” Is So Real It’s Scary

October 31, 2022

Fresh off the festival success of Moshari, filmmaker Nuhash Humayun is back with another horror short – Foreigners Only, part of the third season of Hulu’s Bite Size Halloween, zooms in on the micro injustices of neo-colonialism in the modern age. In Bangladesh, where Foreigners is set, there is a clear and deep preference for expats. Landlords … Read More

Fatimah Asghar’s “When We Were Sisters” Is About the Bonds That Tie

October 18, 2022

Poet, screenwriter, and now debut author Fatimah Asghar follows the release of their highly-acclaimed poetry collection If They Come For Us with their new novel When We Were Sisters, out this week. Focusing on the lives of three orphaned Muslim American sisters, and told from the perspective of the youngest Kausar, When We Were Sisters … Read More

Sink Into LA.MIMI’s Sound Bath in “M.BRYO” EP

October 12, 2022

LA.MIMI’s music demands you listen with headphones. The non-binary Pakistani-based artist’s tracks are roving sound baths with careful, eerie lyrics. The details in the sound spin around and above your head as you listen, ready to disappear into the ether of an empty room. With their debut EP M.BRYO, LA.MIMI is committing memory to song. … Read More

Pulling the Veil Off Arranged Marriage in “The Newlyweds”

Arranged marriage casts a long shadow over South Asian culture. As a way to maintain religious barriers, caste affiliation, socioeconomic standing, and patriarchal standards, it seems like a vestige of history. We might like to think the tradition of arranged marriage, and its satellite concerns like dowry and honor killings, might simply die out with … Read More

Beautiful Gowns Can’t Save Netflix’s “Wedding Season”

August 5, 2022

The reluctant wedding guest is a mainstay of the romcom genre. It’s a trope ripe for dramatic speechifying and dance montages. And in recent years we’ve seen it deployed successfully with films like Plus One and Palm Springs, proving that romcoms in the 2020s are still alive and still boldly asking if a woman can … Read More

Ashni’s “Who I Dreamed Of” Provides Haunting Relief

May 20, 2022

Ashni’s new EP Who I Dreamed Of begins with a whisper – the musician lilts softly over a persistent strumming and gentle piano with the first song “Light Bends.” Instantly reminiscent of the singer-songwriters of the 90s and aughts but with Ashni’s own signature touch, Who I Dreamed Of is only three songs but it … Read More

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