Opinion

This Variety Show Pokes at the Edges of the First-Generation Experience

November 19, 2018

Getting to the inaugural Crazy Funny South Asians variety show at the Upright Citizens Brigade theater was a trek given the near-apocalyptic scale of this season’s first snow on November 15. But somewhere between the endless lines outside Penn Station mere blocks away, the unnecessary but – I’m calling it – quintessentially Indian queue skipping … Read More

“Demons in Paradise” Shifts Away From Prevailing Sri Lanka War Narratives

November 15, 2018

Jude Ratnam didn’t realize he would be telling his own story. Initially, Ratnam set out to make a film about the Sri Lankan Civil War, using the railway connecting the Sinhalese-dominated south and the Tamil-dominated north as a springboard for his explorations. “You can’t rationally understand the process of art-making,” Ratnam told Kajal. “But one … Read More

Spiritual Activism Across Continents, Part 2

November 14, 2018

Kalaashakti rerouted the exploitative objectives of institutions like colonialism, EuroAmerican control over land, resources, knowledge, and cultural identity, and heteropatriarchy the dominance of men and heterosexual norms, through meditative pauses and re-embodiment. These practices loosen the grip of colonial and heteropatriarchal messages and framings inscribed into our breath and bodies that tell us, as Muslim … Read More

Spiritual Activism Across Continents, Part 1

November 13, 2018

Creating Kalaashakti, a series of workshops centered on spiritual activism and healing, was a personal labor of love. The spiritual activism of these workshops was an experiment in a different kind of anti-violence, one that increased our inner fortitude to be with suffering and know it intimately, and open ourselves to healing in community — … Read More

The Fragmentation and Murders of Queer Brown Men in Toronto

November 8, 2018

Eight men were murdered in Toronto, their bodies dismembered and placed into more than dozen fiberglass garden planters on a residential property on Mallory Crescent. This was the same Leaside neighborhood where self-employed landscaper and occasional mall Santa Bruce McArthur worked. Fragments of bodies were found in a wooded area adjacent to the property as … Read More

Of The Island Celebrates Lankan Self-Representation

October 11, 2018

Of The Island is a short film by Amanda Yogendran and Vidhya Manivannan that centers four young creatives of the Sinhalese, Tamil, and Burgher Sri Lankan diaspora – Ushka, Rolex Rasathy, ELSZ, and Santhya – who share their experiences of migration, culture, identity, art, and self-expression. “I feel like I always had an alter ego,” a voice in … Read More

Chaya Bhuvaneswar’s “White Dancing Elephants” Revels in Your Discomfort

October 8, 2018

There is strange fascination in pressing an old, yellowing bruise, still tender. It begs for repetition and simultaneously unsettles. Chaya Bhuvaneswar’s debut collection, White Dancing Elephants revels in this discomfort, veering through short stories ranging from the speculative to the queer, the mythic to the historical, the pleasurable to the sexually violent. Centering the voices … Read More

Raj Kapoor, Mukesh, and Nostalgia for an Inclusive Nationalism

October 2, 2018

Challia, Awaara, Shree 420 – the singer Mukesh’s soulful voice is found across the soundtracks of films in an early post-colonial India, narrating the vastly different post-partition life on the sub-continent. With Raj Kapoor, an accomplished actor and producer, Mukesh would go on to play an essential role in forming a young India’s national identity … Read More

The Suitable Girl: Sari Fears

The women in my family are columns of silk when they wear saris. Statuesque, taller somehow, unattainable in their grace and assuredness, as if they wore the fabric like power. They took small steps but also long strides. They wore high heels that daggered into the floor of hotel ballrooms, leaving behind tiny indentations in … Read More

Arun Welandawe-Prematilleke Brings Queer Truth to Colombo’s Stage

September 24, 2018

The One Who Loves You So, writer and director Arun Welandawe-Prematilleke’s widely-anticipated original play, ran at Colombo’s Namel Malini Punchi theater in August. The play is a complex depiction of a short-lived relationship between two men, one “a wealthy Colombo trust-fund baby” and the other a British expatriate. Their relationship starts with an ordinary match … Read More

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