Shout it out

Soma Basu writes on the annual Calcutta Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Film and Video Festival, Dialogues

Understand that sexuality is as wide as the sea; understand that your morality is not law… ~ Derek Jarman

NEVER before, perhaps, have these words rung so true for those whose sexuality falls beyond the hetero-patriarchal norm. The annual Calcutta Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Film and Video festival, Dialogues (held at Max Mueller Bhavan) was an attempt at exploring the world that many of us turn our faces away from. It showcased films and allied media that matter to the diverse communities of the non-heterosexual tribe made around the world and in India. It also provided a much-needed venue for independent film and video, dealing with issues from India and abroad.We might not relate

We might not relate with the subject here. Not perhaps in the way that our preconditioned minds take us. But a broader view would help us understand the catch one falls into if one chooses to differ. The reality is that a large number of people continues to live as criminals under the purview of our moral laws. Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code criminalises same-sex expressions of love and desire. It remains to be seen whether the much-awaited judgment of Delhi High Court is able to throw out this piece that legitimises prejudice and hatred.Years of slavery perhaps could never dilute our obsession with the British. It is for the same reason that many codes clamped on our conduct are a direct lift from British morality. Has India really moved forward from the point following Deepa Mehta’s Fire? How do we reconcile with the violence of flashing names and addresses along with photographs of men, supposedly gay, “caught by police undercover”? Or when lesbians are raped to be “taught a lesson”? The issues were plenty. As were the perspectives at Dialogues that held forth an ensemble of film and documentary screening, exhibiting an “excavation of feminine memories” by

How do we reconcile with the violence of flashing names and addresses along with photographs of men, supposedly gay, “caught by police undercover”? Or when lesbians are raped to be “taught a lesson”? The issues were plenty. As were the perspectives at Dialogues that held forth an ensemble of film and documentary screening, exhibiting an “excavation of feminine memories” by Giti Thandani and the launch of the Human Rights Watch Report along with a panel discussion.The festival kicked off with the inauguration of an exhibition on imageries of homo-erotic love in ancient Indian tradition by Thadani, noted lesbian activist, visual artist and photographer. She unearths the concealed tapestry of feminine kinship, genealogy and erotic bonding between women in ancient Indian tradition. She travelled across the country for the past 25 years and photographed temples and images of goddesses. The exhibition was a poetical sojourn into the archetypical philosophies and cosmologies of the

The festival kicked off with the inauguration of an exhibition on imageries of homo-erotic love in ancient Indian tradition by Thadani, noted lesbian activist, visual artist and photographer. She unearths the concealed tapestry of feminine kinship, genealogy and erotic bonding between women in ancient Indian tradition. She travelled across the country for the past 25 years and photographed temples and images of goddesses. The exhibition was a poetical sojourn into the archetypical philosophies and cosmologies of the Shaktic feminine through a dramatic interplay of visuals depicting same-sex erotica. A panel discussion was followed by the launch of a book, This alien legacy, on the colonial origins of so-called sodomy laws by Aloke Gupta, organised in collaboration with Human Rights Watch, USA.The acclaimed feature documentary A Jihad For Love by Parvez Sharma was the inaugural screening. It is one of the world’s first feature documentaries to explore the complex global intersections between Islam and homosexuality. Filmed in 12 countries and nine languages, A Jihad For Love was made at great risk in nations where government permission to film was not an option. In the Western media, the concept of jihad is often narrowly equated with war. But jihad also has a deeper meaning, its literal Arabic meaning being

A panel discussion was followed by the launch of a book, This alien legacy, on the colonial origins of so-called sodomy laws by Aloke Gupta, organised in collaboration with Human Rights Watch, USA.The acclaimed feature documentary A Jihad For Love by Parvez Sharma was the inaugural screening. It is one of the world’s first feature documentaries to explore the complex global intersections between Islam and homosexuality. Filmed in 12 countries and nine languages, A Jihad For Love was made at great risk in nations where government permission to film was not an option. In the Western media, the concept of jihad is often narrowly equated with war. But jihad also has a deeper meaning, its literal Arabic meaning being

A panel discussion was followed by the launch of a book, This alien legacy, on the colonial origins of so-called sodomy laws by Aloke Gupta, organised in collaboration with Human Rights Watch, USA.The acclaimed feature documentary A Jihad For Love by Parvez Sharma was the inaugural screening. It is one of the world’s first feature documentaries to explore the complex global intersections between Islam and homosexuality. Filmed in 12 countries and nine languages, A Jihad For Love was made at great risk in nations where government permission to film was not an option.

The acclaimed feature documentary A Jihad For Love by Parvez Sharma was the inaugural screening. It is one of the world’s first feature documentaries to explore the complex global intersections between Islam and homosexuality. Filmed in 12 countries and nine languages, A Jihad For Love was made at great risk in nations where government permission to film was not an option. In the Western media, the concept of jihad is often narrowly equated with war. But jihad also has a deeper meaning, its literal Arabic meaning being struggle or to strive in the path of God. In this film, we see several characters engaged in their personal jihad for love.Other noteworthy movies that were screened were Fox And His Friends (German), The Bitter Tears Of Petra Von Kant (German), In A Year Of 13 Moons (German) by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Sancharam (Malayalam) by Ligy J Pullappally and Guhya (English) by Kirtana Kumar.

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