Below are excerpts from an interview I did with a fascinating artists and activist who initiated a process in me, simple and obvious, and yet complicated and hardly ever embarked upon- vis-a-vis the politics of gender and sexuality. Ins has challenged the routine of the politics we engage in and the world view we sometimes unintentionally take for granted and thus make static, Hoping for an engaging discussion on the issues Ins lays out below.
Also, something to think about: how we write articles in popular media about difficult, unspoken of issues to just put them out there. To bring about some visibility but at the cost of some of the complexity? Sometimes visibility even at the cost of compromise on our politics of how we speak of pain and pleasure in all our lives and in the context of the frameworks of oppression? I see myself having done this below in my fleeting account of Ins’s life and work. How then do we engage with the mainstream media and find the language to articulate complexities approachably and regularly? It’s the eternal question but lets ask it again because, as we all know, we have to. :) Continue reading Interview with Ins Kromminga, German intersex activist and artist
“Yeah yeah, take a good show and spoil it by theorizing” said my labour lawyer/bollywood-gossip-junkie flat mate. All I said was that I thought Rakhi Sawant Ka Swayamvar was an “Interesting phenomenon that comments on the articulations of the notion of marriage within the context of fixed notions of culture among upper middle class north Indian families and within that the tropes of gender, normativity and melodrama! And so I should write about it on Kafila”.
Her comment wasn’t entirely unjustified.
The way in which one watches these shows in itself raises a range of questions. The show has taken over my life as of now. The final decision of who she will marry will be made soon and the restlessness and anxiety about it is immense and requires effort to contain. Continue reading Rakhi Sawant Ka Swayamvar!
A friend said that last week in Bangalore and the drama(s) around Valentine’s Day would make a wonderful PhD thesis if one had the time and the distance. Two things are of relevance here.
One, the spread of communal politics that is inherently violent and divisive is not new to our country. Moral policing forming a major part of it and translating primarily into the control of the everyday lives of women, control over the institutions that could keep the regressive ideas around religion and caste in place such as marriage have been the standard points of attack in many parts of the world and in India. To maintain the notion of the ‘other’ that these divisive forces base their politics and everyday activities, we should never meet or get to know the ‘other’. And thus the attacks on young people who had friends across communities. It is these incidents that have sometimes spiraled into well-planned, thoroughly executed, state-sponsored carnage of people from certain communities, namely the imaginary ‘other’. Continue reading Valentine’s day and protest in Bangalore, 2009