Dismantling patriarchal institutions

Updated: Feb 10, 2019, 09:17 IST | Prutha Bhosle |

A two-day conclave to explore the roots of feminism which lie not only in its more articulate voices but also in the women who fight to make lives better

Shillong-based artist Lapdiang Syiem will be performing at the event
Shillong-based artist Lapdiang Syiem will be performing at the event

Feminism is not restricted to the hearts and minds of women, but also in art, music, books and performances. Thus, to mark the relentless march of feminism to horizons, Godrej India Culture Lab is hosting a two-day conclave, starting Saturday, February 16.

The event will celebrate the multiplicity of feminisms in India, and see presence of well-known people, striving to achieve social equality. It will also pay tribute to the diverse, and sometimes, contesting, but always political and subversive feminisms that live and thrive among us. Saniya Shaikh, catalyst from the Godrej India Culture Lab team, shares, "It's important to celebrate feminism because we owe so much to our feminist forbearers who have paved the way for it to become something that everyone wants to lay claim to. There has been so much labour, knowledge and love that has gone into making us a people who resist hegemonies that patriarchy enforces on us."

Anti-caste theatre artists Yalgaar will perform at the conclave, too

The first day of the event will feature 'The Past Is Before Us', which will be moderated by Urvashi Butalia, director of Zubaan Books, and feature Rituparna Chatterjee who runs #MeToo India Twitter handle, filmmaker Alankrita Shrivastava, A Revathi, author of A Life in Trans Activism, Hasina Khan, founder of Bebaak Collective, and Roshmi Goswami.

When asked about feminisms in the country that have grown and flowered, Chatterjee says, "We're part of a feminist march, which leaders like Savitribai Phule, Bhanwari Devi, or Justice Sujata Manohar have set in place. There's a lot of ground to be covered in areas of safety, representation, equality, identity, freedom of choice, healthcare, pay parity and opportunities, and menstrual, sexual and gender autonomy. All of these campaigns have their own champions across India and together we'll get there."

Talking about the significance of such conclaves, Chatterjee adds, "We must find a way to use feminist conclaves to provide representation to oppressed, marginalised voices who would otherwise not be heard. What we need to ensure is that our feminism is inclusive, our cry for equality is mindful of intersectionality and our solidarity extends even to those within the feminist movements whose voices are raised against us."

Rituparna Chatterjee
Rituparna Chatterjee

Another discussion will feature anti-caste activist Manisha Mashaal, human rights activist and lawyer Manjula Pradeep, and Divya Kandukuri, who runs the Twitter account EverydayCasteism. The first day will conclude with a special performance by anti-caste theatre artists Yalgaar.

On February 17, Rima Das' film Bulbul Can Sing will be screened, followed by a session on feminist art worlds featuring artist Alyen Foning, visual artist Kundo Yumnam, photographer Zubeni Lotha, rapper Dee MC and performance artist Lapdiang Syiem.

Where: Auditorium, first floor, Godrej ONE, Vikhroli East
When: February 16, 17
RSVP: indiaculturelab@godrejinds.com

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