Nooreen Reza

Cat Mahatta Wants You to Live Free

July 25, 2019

The multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Cat Mahatta describes her music as “electronic space pop r&b,” and through that music she hopes to create a dreamscape where folks with marginalized identities can live and dance in exhilaration. Her new music video, “Hymn to Dudes,” pairs ethereal beats with forceful lyrics about independence and non-conformism. The music swells … Read More

Kadak Collective is Exploring the Experience of Outsiderhood

May 16, 2019

Kadak Collective gets its name from a familiar subcontinental staple — the spiced, strong, hot tea brewed over home stovetops, in neighborhood chai stalls, over whatever hot flame can help you get your fix. The collective, a group of South Asian women and queer folk, use graphic narratives to contemplate issues and stories relevant to … Read More

Micropixie Brings New Music to Planet Earth

April 9, 2019

Neshma Friend, has never shied away from political topics. Her music and ideas, refined over a trilogy of albums, find expression in the persona of Micropixie, an alien come to Earth to realize she has settled on a planet riven with strange and terrible ideas like misogyny, xenophobia, racism, and a host of other human … Read More

Naach Girls Is a Glamorous Celebration of Women Performers

June 30, 2018

The dancing woman in Bollywood cinema, an often-portrayed character who performs for a largely male audience within the film while the actress playing her performs for a diverse set of viewers in real life, is a pillar of Bollywood’s appeal. Art director Amad Ilyas watched these films with their varied versions of “naach girls” — … Read More

Progressive Hinduism and a New Movement Against Poverty

June 26, 2018

Fifty years ago this month, a movement for economic justice built upon racial solidarity was brought to a halt in the US national capital of Washington DC. That movement was the Poor People’s Campaign, created by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in December 1967. In the wake of the civil rights victories of the mid-60s, … Read More

Tāl is Your Musical Guide to the Unknown

June 11, 2018

Tāl, the electro-folk experiment helmed by twin sisters and multi-instrumentalists Shalina and Shantini Sandran, grew out of an inclination toward blending styles instilled in the womb. The New Zealand-based duo recall memories of their mother playing the classical maestro Vivaldi during her pregnancy, and how their home reverberated with sounds as varied as the tunes … Read More

Kajal Vol. 2: Love Machine

May 16, 2018

This piece was originally published in Kajal Volume 2, Mytho-Techno. Order your copy of the magazine here. Social commentators often lament that technology explodes the world into a thousand little pieces, each floating about in alienated orbs, only touching when they collide in anger and acrimony. In market speak made social speak, they call this … Read More

Trump Administration Ends TPS for Nepal

April 29, 2018

On April 26th, The Department of Homeland Security ended the TPS program for Nepal, giving the roughly 9,000 current TPS holders until June 24, 2019 to adjust their status or “self-deport.” This month, Kajal reported on Nepali-American activists’ fight to preserve TPS for their country, and the consequences that could come from revoking this already … Read More

Reading List: Dalit History Month

April 27, 2018

Oppressed peoples do not lack history, they are written out of it by intention. For instance, Dalits, a term of self-identification adopted in the 20th century by those formerly deemed “Untouchable” in the caste order, had been forbidden by a sacred Hindu text, the Manusmriti, from reading the Vedas, foundational, but brahminical, scriptural texts. They … Read More

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