Opinion

Jyoti Nisha Wants to Retell B.R. Ambedkar’s Story

February 12, 2019

Indian filmmaker Jyoti Nisha does not think anyone can claim B.R. Ambedkar’s image or politics. But with her upcoming film, B.R. Ambedkar: Now and Then, Jyoti weaves Ambedkar’s life and history as an opponent of Brahminical hegemony together with the current political climate and anti-caste movement, all from her own Bahujan feminist perspective. Kajal sat … Read More

“Asking for Elephants” Reminds Us to Travel Solo

January 9, 2019

Dove is a bestselling novel by Robin Lee Graham, a non-fiction narrative about sailing solo around the world at 16 years old, starting from San Pedro, California. It ends like a fairytale: he returns home with a wife and a daughter. I read it as part of my middle school curriculum and was so taken … Read More

Letter from the Editor: Kajal Turns 4!

December 14, 2018

Dear readers, Today Kajal Magazine turns four years old. I often rehash the origin story of this project – I started it in December 2014 when I was desperate to break into a very insulated, very white media landscape. I thought it could be a place for the stories I loved about a new generation … Read More

Bleach, Bollywood, and Beauty – 2018 in Review

December 10, 2018

Dear readers it’s been another whole year – a year of original articles, essays, poems, and art from and for the South Asian diaspora. We had the pleasure of publishing so many wonderful pieces this year that held a mirror up to our world. Our site got a beautiful redesign, and we’re hard at work … Read More

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

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