Spotlight On the Margins

Spotlight on the Margins

There are many layers of marginalization that have stemmed since time immemorial owing to stereotypes and stigmas. Its time for the paradigms  to change and allow for voices to be heard and to shed light on issues that need social awareness. The intent is to create a platform that showcases creative performances which will reflect the realities of marginalized people and issues.

It is important to focus on the margins in mainstream spaces and this event does precisely the same. All of us are aware that we owe it upon ourselves for the creation of these marginalities. Therefore, it is important for us to hear, understand and feel the voices of the margins.

One such marginality is in the realm of sexuality. Non-normative sexualities are a major threat to the hitherto normative, patriarchal institutions that form the spine of our system. The AIDS awareness in the nineties began a new momentum in India to focus on high risk categories, that which sex workers and homosexuals came under. The LGBTQ movements have mobilised public awareness and community consciousness about the rights of every human being in our country as equal citizens.  At a time when our judiciary is still deciding the legitimacy of alternate sexualities by undoing the draconian colonial law Section 377, there are many writers, artists and performers who have dared to speak out. Listening to them is a conscientious effort; not serendipitous in any way!

This session will begin with a panel discussion to contextualise the theme and will be followed by a performance of a Malayalam play called Pareyaan Marandakathegal which evolved through a workshop in 2018 at ITFOK Thrissur.

Panelists

Mangai

Feminist Theatre Activist. She has been actively engaged in Tamil theatre for almost 3 decades.

She is an academic, feminist,  playwright, author,  director, professor and activist. Her passion has always been to concentrate on community theatre and has worked extensively with the transgender community to make theatre the voice for the voiceless, or the marginalized.

She will be moderating the panel discussion.

Srijit Sundaram

Trained in contemporary and folk dance forms, Srijith Sundaram is deeply involved in the world of performance and media; as a dancer, cinematographer, ad filmmaker, theatre director and as an actor. He has been with the Marapachi theatre group since its inception, and has worked with directors including Mangai and other leading directors in Tamil theatre. His workshops, particularly in colleges, deal with issues of gender and theatre, and taking up issues of gender through theatre.

Kalki

Kalki Subramaniam is a transgender activist, artist, author, actor and inspirational speaker. She is the founder of Sahodari Foundation which works for the social, economic and political empowerment of transgender persons in India.

Kalki advocates internationally against discrimination and hatred against transgender and intersex people and voices for their inclusion at all levels.

Through Sahodari Foundation, she has initiated the Trans/hearts project with a mission to reach out to 10,000 transgender people to encourage and train them to paint their untold stories on canvas.

In June 2017, Ms. Kalki was awarded the Honorary Doctorate by International Tamil University, USA for her activism.

Parayan Maranna Kadhakal (Untold Forgotten Stories) is a workshop production, in which the transgender participants play string together stories of their childhood, growing up, and adult life. Emotional trauma, public humiliation, indifferent society and lack of compassion make them curse, argue, and agonize. But they move on, holding onto the straws of fellow bonding. The play hopes to lap the dormant nerves of guilt in our society. This is the first attempt in Kerala to build a trans-theatre group and production.