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Learn Togetherness Beyond Binaries: Sensing Art through Queer Lensing

Kolkata Centre for Creativity (KCC) in association with Sappho for Equality and supported by British Council is inviting submission of photography, painting, sculpture, abstract of performance arts including music, performance poetry, dance and theatre performance that will ponder on the theme. 

Beyond Binaries: Sensing Art through Queer Lensing


“I wish they would only take me as I am”


- Vincent Van Gogh


It is popularly said that art is the signature of civilizations. Even after centuries, we know and remember civilizations not because of their rich businesspeople or famous professionals, but through their arts. Starting from the ancient cave paintings to the writings on papyrus, from ancient architecture and sculptures to folklore and mythology passed on via poetry, songs, dance and plays, history has shown that art has not just been an expression of reality reflecting how things were, but also a tool to challenge those very realities, resisting those norms, celebrating the ‘other’, and being a language of revolution and social change. Understanding this role of art in challenging the hegemonic oppressive norms in society, and thereby expressing, celebrating and reclaiming the non-normative or the spaces existing ‘beyond the binary’ are crucial. It is here that our theme for this year ‘BEYOND BINARIES - Sensing art through queer lensing’ is located.

Beyond Binaries:

Since the time we are born, we are conditioned to view the world through a very binary lens of gender such as male/masculine/man and female/feminine/woman. In terms of sexuality the norm is always ‘heterosexuality’ with the other perceived opposite discrete end point being homosexuality. Thus, our sense of Self, our preferences, aspirations, values, emotions, what we like, what we want, how we look at the world are all conditioned through this restrictive binary gaze. However, in reality human beings are often fluid. Gender and sexuality cannot be restricted in two discrete and distinct boxes. They freely flow in a continuum between these two- changing location with time, situations and people. All the oppressive institutions of society such as patriarchy, religion, class, caste and others that divide people into hierarchies and marginalize some, are birth-based in nature. They all function through this binary since it is the foundation on which female-bodied individuals, their wombs and the children born out of them are owned and controlled. Against this backdrop, art has always been one of the most crucial weapons to dismantle this binary, blur its boundaries, challenge the mainstream ‘norm’ and celebrate the ‘other’ or the ‘queer’.
Sensing Art through Queer Lensing:

So is our theme for this year queer art? The answer is both ‘yes’ and ‘no’. Queer art usually refers to art made by queer-identifying people (LGBTHIQK or others) or refers to art of homosexual imagery that are based around the issues that evolved out of gender and identity politics of the 1980s West. In the Indian context, queer art popularly refers to our own ancient sculptures, texts, folklore, songs, dance forms and plays celebrating alternate gender-sexual forms and behaviours which reflect Indian cultural pluralism.

However, simply defining queer art as art made by people who are homosexual or bisexual, is reductive and though love, sex and desire are the strongest themes within queer art, it is problematic to focus only on this because ‘queering art’ or as our theme says ‘sensing art through queer lensing’ is this but also much more.

The word ‘queer’ is defined in the Oxford Dictionary (2021) as ‘strange’ or ‘unusual’ and apart from being an adjective, the word is also used as a verb. In that capacity it then also includes ‘queering art’ and includes artists and curators who take familiar imagery and ideas and ‘queer’ them as a part of a deeply political act, which might extend beyond gender and sexuality.

So ‘sensing art through queer lensing’ includes queer-identifying individuals making art to express, celebrate, provoke and protest as well as non queer-identifying artists who break binaries in their respective art forms. Starting from expressing queer desire to celebrating queer bodies; from activist art having strong political intent with a war cry for revolution, to presenting an art form bending its own rigid rules, our theme this year aims to invite all artists who seek to blur these boundaries, break the binary and fracture the rigid hegemonic narratives both personally and politically through their art.

In the words of Aristotle, “The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance”.

Selected Artists List
To know more on the Webinar dates & timings, check out the Program Schedule.
CLICK HERE

In collaboration with Sappho for Equality and supported by the British Council India, we are presenting ‘KCC DEAI - Learn Togetherness’ – a collateral program ‘Webinar Series'.

This year, the theme is, “Beyond Binaries: Sensing Art through Queer Lensing”, that will celebrate the diversity of gender and sexuality choices of people.

Date: 19th – 27th June, 2021

PHYSICAL SUBMISSION OF FRAMED PHOTOGRAPH AT KCC: 

EXHIBITION: 19th to 27th June, 2021

Register Now

Radical Intimacies film screening and accompanying curator talk

 

Watch three artist short films from the UK exploring queerness and LGBTQI+ rights, and hear an accompanying talk by the curator Tendai Mutambu. 

 

The films will be available to watch online for 24 hours from 24 June 2021 – 25 June 2021.

 

At 18:00 IST on 25 June 2021 you will have the opportunity to hear from the curator Tendai Mutambu about why he choose the artist films and the themes explored within them.

 

Register now. Upon registration a unique link and password will be provided to enabled viewing.

 

Below is a brief about the film screening and the conversation along with the bios of the curator as well as the artists

 

About this event

 

In this film compilation, three contemporary artists – Beatrice Gibson, Rehana Zaman, Stephen Sutcliffe – use film to investigate the role of gender and sexual identities in a social, political and cultural moment that has seen the momentous erosion of hard-won rights and the value of freely expressing desire.

 

Films in the Radical Intimacies compilation

•         Beatrice Gibson, I hope I’m Loud When I’m Dead, 2018, 20 minutes (LUX)

•         Rehana Zaman, Sharla Shabana Sojourner Selena, 2016, 22 minutes, 14 seconds (LUX)             

•         Stephen Sutcliffe, Casting Through and Scenes from Radcliffe, 2017, 16 minutes, 53 seconds (LUX)

 

In addition to the above mentioned we are proud to make this available to you.

The Vimeo Showcase for the More Films For Freedom will be live from 17th June till 28th.

Please do register as you have for the webinar and the link and password will be sent to you.


For more details on the films click here
Film Interpretation & Artist Bio

Performance


Learn Togetherness Performance - Attam | Sreelekshmi N

Bio: Sreelekshmi is a dance practitioner, currently pursuing her Masters in Performance Studies from Ambedkar University, Delhi. Sreelekshmi is usually found caught up between the walls of theory and practice, finding a space to create a dialogue between the two. Some of the major questions and processes for her practice are the politics of the figure of the performer, the costuming, the gender performativity, the space and the body movements to name a few, which she explores through the form of Mohiniyattam. A few of her written works have also been published. She is currently working on her dissertation on the notion of ‘Spectatorship’ with the faculty of Ambedkar University, Delhi.

Title: Attam

Year: 2020

Abstract of the performance: The Performance Art titled 'Aattam' (meaning ‘movement’ in Malayalam) is a questioning of gender performativity through the 'classicalised' form of Mohiniyattam of Kerala. The performance is a protest action which questions the aspects of costuming, gender and hence the ‘boundaries’ of the traditions laid by the institutionalisation of art forms. The performer has used a traditional space, the traditional attire of the Mohiniyattam form and a traditional composition to enact the protest gesture. The performance gesture mainly comprises the cutting of the hair of the performer as the body of the performer moves ‘across’ the boundaries of the form. In the current scenario where gender is ‘non-binary’, classical dances still have the ‘male’ and the ‘female’ attires, which if unfollowed is viewed problematic. 

Number of team members: Solo performance
Names of members: Sreelekshmi N



Learn Togetherness Performance - Letter to Desire | Indrani Banerjee


Bio: Indrani Banerjee is a queer activist who identifies as a gender non-binary and bisexual/sexually fluid individual. She is a poet and an artist who has always written professionally for other people but has recently started writing for herself as well. She writes and performs spoken word (poetry) to express and celebrate herself and to provoke and rebel against the rigid patriarchal oppressive structures of society. Some of her poems have been published digitally and recently she performed two of her poems ‘Memoirs of a Forest’ and ‘Warriors Don’t Cry’ at the ‘Seeing the Truth’ event at Gyan Manch, Kolkata. These two poems have also been selected and is due for publishing in the magazine ‘Swakanthey’. Her poetry is both personal and political and expresses lived experiences bordering on the themes of feminism, queer rights, layered complex emotions, desire, queer pleasure, mental health, etc

Title: ‘Letter to Desire’

Year: 2021

Performance type: Theatre

Abstract of the performance: The poetry ‘Letter to Desire’ is written and performed by Indrani to express and celebrate her bisexuality and non-normative queer desire. The poetry is written in the form of a letter which she writes to her desire. She starts by reminiscing about how she met desire for the first time in her childhood through suddenly discovering the art of self-pleasure and gradually her letter flows into her relationship with desire over the years through other people – both men and woman. She talks about how she met desire in high school again, surprisingly through girls, and the journey therein, and then goes on to tell desire how shocked and surprised she was when it came to her with men later in life. Indrani describes her confusion and lucidly narrates how she found desire different depending on which friend it came with. In the last stanza Indrani confesses to desire about how as a bisexual woman she has been questioned and marginalised by both the ‘straight’ and the queer community and takes agency in deciding to choose both, and living life fully as a bisexual woman. Indrani’s letter ends with the realization that rather than trying to figure out her queer desire through her relationships, her core relationship should be with her desire itself around which people and life needs to be. 

Number of team members: 1
Names of members: Indrani Banerjee


Learn Togetherness Performance - Chitrangada: The Story of a Hermaphrodite | Gaurav Das


Bio: Dr. Gaurav Das has acquired his Ph.D. on “Oncology and Chemical Neuroscience” from Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkata in November 2020. Apart from studies, he has a wide range of training in traditional art forms which includes a Prabhakar in Tabla and Hindustani Classical music from Allahabad Prayag Samiti, training in Kathak , Bharatnatyam and other traditional movement practices like Kalaripayattui and Chhau. With his wide range of training and practice, in 2019 he founded his own theatre troupe Santoshpur Anuchintan, with a group of theatre enthusiasts from underprivileged background.

Title: “Chitrangada: The Story of a Hermaphrodite”

Year: 2021

Performance type: Theatre

Abstract of the performance: For the “Learn Togetherness Beyond Binaries: Sensing Art through Queer Lensing”, we are glad to present a re-interpretation of the age-old tale of “Chitrangada” from Mahabharata with excerpts from our ancient sex treatise Kamasutra in the form of a multidisciplinary theatre performance interspersed with music, painting and dance. Loosely based on the text by Rabindranath Tagore, our performance will traverse through the internal pain and angst of the titular character as she rides through tumultuous physical, psychological and biological metamorphosis. Though Chitrangada has been performed several times, most of its interpretations have focused on the social bigotry faced by the people of the third gender and the amount of humiliation they have to bear with. What sets us apart, is that more than the social acceptance by the character, it is the self-realization of gender plurality within herself by Chitrangada that we kind of want to celebrate, which we also feel is the very essence of the Tagore’s original play.

Number of team members: 5

Names of members: 1. Alip Halder, 2. Rahul Sardar, 3. Nayan Sadhak, 4. Samar Mridha, 5. Shalini Chakraborty


Learn Togetherness Performance - Rainbows up my Sleeve | Manjima Sarkar


Bio: Manjima is a graduate in English (Loreto College, Kolkata) and a Post-Graduate in English literature and language (University of Calcutta, Kolkata). Besides being a voracious reader, learner and an academic aspirant, she is a passionate singer, theatre practitioner and a trained Odissi dancer. She has been a 'Mastree' educator for six months and also has a profound experience of teaching English to middle school and high school students. During her graduation, she participated in a Legal Awareness Course organized by Loreto College, aimed at empowerment of Young Women with focus on perspective and skill; contributed articles, poems to college magazine “Expressions”; volunteered in several events organized by Literary Society and attended panel discussions on contemporary social issues: a transwoman’s involvement in society, cybercrime and human trafficking. She participated in a four-day project at “Community Service at Society for Indian Children’s Welfare” (23rd October 2017). During her post-graduation, she worked as an intern in an edutech company and conducted creative writing workshops at various schools based in Kolkata. She is a national junior scholarship holder in Odissi dance from CCRT and is also a theatre enthusiast.
Being an avid film enthusiast and a trained Odissi dancer since a young age, Manjima has always been interested in the gender dynamics embedded in various forms of art. While being exposed to texts including 'The Madwoman in the Attic' by Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar; and "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema" by Laura Mulvey, she got an opportunity to explore multifaceted debates on gender. She intends to complete her research on Drag Culture in India and aspires to found a magazine that will critique mainstream Indian films and advertising campaigns that promote gender stereotypes extensively, thereby having a major social impact. She also to found her own dance studio where she wants to experiment and collaborate with queer dancers across India.

Title: Rainbows up my Sleeve

Year: 2020

Performance type: Dance

Abstract of the performance: This performance explores the diverse dimensions of gender and makes an attempt to voice the angst of a drag artist who is trapped in the shackles of societal obligations. He/ She is not just a crossdresser, but also a person who is endeavouring to discover his/her sexual choices. He/she aspires to embrace the utopic joy of imagining a world beyond binaries. This performance focuses on two broad issues: how the politics of crossdressing in Indian performing arts has shaped the discourse of gender performativity and how drag performances in India are attempting to deconstruct the gender-inequitable tropes of crossdressing by imbibing the attributes that are not conventionally associated with one's sex. Crossdressing is a phenomenon that has transcended social and regional boundaries. The performance is a small attempt that demonstrates how it has evolved across several time periods and cultures. This performance scrutinises the social, political and psychological implications of crossdressing in this day and age.

Number of team members: 2

Names of members: 1. Manjima Sarkar 2. Sarba Roy

Learn Togetherness Performance - Brihannala | Sudeshna Dey


Bio: Sudeshna Dey is ex-troupe member of Tanushree Shankar Dance Company. She won 'Telegraph School Awards - Excellence for Outstanding Talent as a Dancer. She went to London to pursue her scholarship in dance. She travelled to Birmingham to choreograph 'Tasher Desh' for Arts Bengal. She was one of the jury member of Harmonica 2016, inter school fest. She was the winner of two Talent Hunt. She appeared at several music videos. She was invited to participate in Dance & Music festival (phase IV) by EZCC (Ministry of Cultural, Govt. Of India).

Title: Brihannala

Year: 2020

Performance type: Creative Dance

Abstract of the performance: The performance highlights the plight of a transgender person, referred to as Brihannala here, who was discarded by own family.  Belonging now in a place of similar community, Brihannala misses the warmth of family and loved ones. Questioning abandonment due to nature, Brihannala asks the necessity of birth if the final destination is abandonment without any fault, only due to societal pressure. While ruing the forced lifestyle and being isolated from old friends who have a much more "accepted" lifestyle, Brihannala appeals mother for acceptance and inclusion in family again. 

Number of team members: 1

Names of members: Sudeshna Dey

Exhibition

Aamir Rabbani
Acrylic on paper
8 X 6 Inch

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In this acrylic on paper Rabbani gives a full-bodied form to a man in residence, who is seen performing for another male observing him from a rooftop. By showing a voluptuous male form in blush color tones, and using strokes to give flesh to details, Rabbani gives us the imagery of sensuality and passion, as well as pride and confidence. The voyeur watching from his roof top sheds light on how often LGBTHIQK+ people are relegated into seeking intimacy without having the safety of space, opportunity, or societal acceptance. Making it near impossible for them to enjoy physical and truly pleasurable connections. Rabbani’s visual wizardry is welcome storytelling in these times where gender and sexuality are finally finding a forum for open discussion and much needed acceptance.

Aaratrika Roy
Acrylic on canvas
24 X 12 Inch
2021

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'Coming out' is a piece that mainly focuses on the Transgender identity of the LGBTQ+ spectrum. As a bisexual ally, I have been a long-running supporter of trans, and queer, rights in general, which impelled me to finally create a piece on this wonderful community. This artwork is an attempt to explain the Trans concept using a surreal yet also literal analogy. In the upper picture, you can see a man in a grey smock, who cannot see his own reflection as he looks into the clouded water. He is lost in terms of his gender identity and thus, can only see the ephemeral ripples created by his touch. The bottom picture shows a woman in yellow carrying the transgender flag (blue, pink and white), swimming up towards the surface of the water. The idea is that she is coming out of the water as his true self i.e., a transwoman. 'Coming out' is based on subtle LGBTQ+ colour references to better explain the queer, especially transgender, analogy. For example, the colour yellow represents a non-gender binary, and the rainbow-coloured school of fish represent the iconic queer flag. There are many other such references hidden all over the work for the viewer to explore.

Amrit Goyal
Acrylic on canvas
16 X 20 Inch
2021

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The artwork is a representation of two non-gender confirming individuals. They are happy as a couple and as an individual. They know how much of their lives they can share with each other. The inspiration is definitely to form a society where we can easily and harmlessly express ourselves as an individual and as a couple. There is much more to a relationship than the binary system we follow. We are merely digging the amazing human emotions. Relationships when carried out in a safe and healthy environment can also help you rediscover and find your own self.

Aneek Roy
Pen on paper
12 X 18 Inch
2021

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The universe is about rhythm and synchronization. You feel the rhythm of the stars in your body because, you too are cosmic. They say the soul that sparks our consciousness is part of the divine. The body is merely the vessel. But, over time, this vessel became the temple to be maintained with utmost care. The beautiful flawed vessel became prohibited. The soul became just the idol in the temple - lifeless and faded. Let the soul be free from the complexities of gender identity. Let masculine merge with feminine. Let the beauty of the soul shine through the eyes and smiles. Why be one when you can be all, creating your own self too has it's own beauty, go beyond binaries.

Ankana Ghosh
Gouache on paper an ink transferred on paper
20 X 30 Inch
2020

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Ardhanarishwar' is a Hindu deity whose one half is that of lord Shiva and the other half is Goddess Parvati. In its very essence it speaks of the union of masculinity and femininity thereby forming a very gender fluid and gender nonconforming entity. Yet in today's world where the deity Ardhanarishwara is worshipped by many, gender fluidity and gender non conformity is condemned. The Trans community still faces violence and is shunned away from society as a pariah. In my work I tried put out articles of various instances of violence against the Trans community who are even being murdered for their very being, and how that is contradictory to our faith and beliefs thereby showing how we as a society are putting chains on Ardhanarishwara.

Anup Let
Mixed media o paper
12 X 12 Inch
2020

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Anup Let student of Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan, Kala Bhavana aims at dealing with the sensitive issues related to gender sexuality & patriarchy society which are closely associated with me. Other than this I never believe in the conception that gender sexuality is the only source that defines one’s identity. This is rather decided by my family & society it’s very similar to what there’s use as a surname, mother’s name, home adders, what are future plans, one’s marital status etc. This is layers listed by society to define one’s identity. The way life proceeds these layers do where, with time. Only senesces remains and becomes the only permanent source of one’s own identity. Then the questions arise what is uniformity in identity? Although is a new term since now but closely deals with debunking sense of revealing. The sense of revealing one’s own identity is uniformity which is not familiar with the acquaintance because that is what cannot be decoded from the exterior. And this introspection of debunking is a sense of realisation essentially important for one’s individuality & personality. What I am? & who I am? Is the necessary question which is needed to be answered? This layer is completely irrelevant to the layers being decided by society. This is what you feel from within, the say contained zone. What does it feel? What it believes is the uniformity within identity although looking into a present social situation sometimes I feel like it should remain in some cases enclosed. Although for me it’s a healthy exercise equivalent to the search for fresh breath. Almost everyone deals with certain assimilation &introspection.

Aritra Aich
Mixed media on paper
13.4 X 20.1 Inch
2021

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There should no division of any work according to the gender and unity and equality should be there in every act since it's a gift of god and everyone should share it equally and without any hesitate.

Apurva Kothari
Mixed media, poster colour on cambric cloth and acrylic colours
8 X 11 Inch
2021

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The miniature form of art is a rich amalgamation of religion, culture and tradition which has been widely accepted and appreciated across many religions of the country. With this painting I wish to draw the juxtaposition between acceptance toward homosexuality which is as organic as the everyday life's kaleidoscopic events which are captured by this art form.

Bivas Paul
Mixed medium on paper
24 X 48 Inch
2021

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Sometimes it's become very difficult to express what we are thinking. We use different languages to express it. I have done this work in mixed media, I have experienced some unexpected situations in my past. So I am sharing those experiences through my artworks. I was criticised many times for wearing pink colour. I think there is some politics still going on with colours in our society, people are creating boundaries between men and women, they claim that this colours for men and this colours for women. The pink colour is still considering for women. Really?? Pink colour is not for men? I used pink colour as a metaphor in my work that, it is also for men.




Debashish Paul
Watercolor, Charcoal on handmade paper
8 X 24 Inch each work
2021

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Through my work, I try to explore the problems of queer identity in a society dominated by heterosexual norms. I seek to expand and explore the tabooed conception of homosexuality by unveiling the body, treating it as a tender landscape, and generating new references to queer identities. Working in the method of automatism, I don’t use any layout, expressing my private emotions and sensibilities freely and without any control of prior thought. I am very careful while choosing materials for my works. My recent sculptural dresses, which indicate no specific gender orientation, male or female, are, in fact, the sensible screens, which both conceal and reveal my fragile emotions and desires, always in conflict with the society.


Dipak Ghosh
Acrylic on paper
20 X 26 Inch
2021

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Every human being has desire, love and affection in his life. These are the truth of life. They want to bind himself in the bond of love. It is also associated with biological needs. Usually women and men with attraction to the opposite sex. The attraction and love for the same sex is evident in this painting. So dedicated love to each other. It is the story of two women falling in love. They want to satisfy the sexual hunger of life. Thus the attraction towards homosexuality is evident here. Nature seems to have taken part in the union of two women here. In this way the love of two women has been blossomed in the fascination of nature in this painting.

Diganta Gain
Water colour on paper
8 X 11 Inch
2021

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The painting "secret meeting" from the series of LGBTQ, which emerged from my experience during my teen ages. This conflict has had a strong influence on the emotional life of my generation, over the past decade LGBT people have gained more and more tolerance and acceptance in India, I personally think if normal men and women have the right to live in the society with respect then why not a person who belongs to LGBT can live in the society with respect. Here in this painting I use Fernando bolero nude figure, in my art practice I love to recreate old Masters painting with my thought and concept. Colour is very important for my painting. Those water colour tint create a weather or temperament in my painting which represents the moment of intimate.

Liactuallee (Lisha Kirpalani)
Acrylic, gouache and ink on paper
48 X 62 Inch
2020

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Deconstructing western dualism, and in turn binary ways of thinking are the center of my mind, as I try to provoke the viewer into questioning the internalized division between nature and human. This dualistic perception, where nature is feminine and culture is masculine, is the base for the gender binary, and in turn gender-based violence, homophobia, and mistreatment of land and ecologies. Examining European landscape painting and cartography as inherently colonial, my work strives to find post-colonial modes of expression informed by eastern aesthetic traditions of flattening the foreground in order to uncover systems and networks at play. How we treat and label the world around us, our ecologies, is very telling to the segregation and systemic oppression of marginalized people. In this work, I explore boundaries and the breaking of divisions, as fluid strokes and abstract patterns occupy the conceptualized dystopic landscape, informed by urban living and the underground worlds that keep the city afloat.

Dwip Adhikary
Acrylic on canvas
48 X 78 Inch
2019

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In my work I have seen a community. Those who may be scared or have left a place in the hope of finding a new place. I created that the new place showing a rainbow-colored sky. Which is their new roof, their team leader is showing that sky, look, this is a new day. Here I want to identify homosexuality with the rainbow. And I have shown some tails among them to move the people away from the boundaries of the so-called present age. Which represents the ancestors of man?

Rudra Kishore Mandal
Watercolour and waterproof ink on handmade paper
20.5 X 28.5 Inch
2016

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This painting explores the eternal connection between what we desire and what leads to despair. Queer people are forced to hide their desires and to censor their feelings. Our unfulfilled desires become the cause for despair, leading to emotional trauma, self-destructive behaviour and depression. It is as if the two are eternally linked, two sides of the same coin. They can exist separately but are somehow always connected. This painting also personifies the strength in our desires which can grow even in the most desperate and desolate surroundings. It shows how desire is born again and again; hope surges and life continues in the cycle. The circle again, my muse!

Saheli Pal
Acrylic on canvas
24 X 30 Inch
2019

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Observing the current societal outlook towards the queer and those who are not engaged in any kind of conventional relationship I made this painting. In the back of the shirt I made a painting of Radha-Krishna using the Kishanganj painting style which is symbolised in India as a perfect example of love whereas the person wearing it, is down-head as he is not allowed to freely express his own self.

Protyush Paul
Gouache on paper
32 X 60 Inch
2021

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The figures in this artwork are copied and pasted from Fernando Botero's painting. In the family where I was born, God has been acting since I was a child, I have to keep his words in mind in everything, if he gets angry, he will make me a kenno or mosquito with a curse. Even now there is no place where they are not used, from the bus to the wall of the alley adjacent to the drain. He is used in different ways everywhere. If we have pickpocketing on the bus or if we don't win the lottery, we have a democratic right to complain to them and curse the pickpockets and lottery shopkeepers. I have done these ten works together with the title "Act of Gods", where they are acting, and we are directing while smoking. I have never seen them in front of me, I have seen stickers of them so I have made their portraits like stickers, I have made the colours match the events of each picture, which means that I have made the colour palette the emotion of the picture. I don't know what is happening with these drawings together. But God knows for sure. They know everything. Even if they don't want to, nothing happens in this world.




Samadrita Kanjilal
27 X 21 Inch
2021

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Tulika Sikdar
Acrylic on paper
15 X 20 Inch
2021

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The name of the Artwork is "The Forbidden Love". Acrylic Medium is used for this Painting. People can generally accept the Love of a Man and a Woman. Besides, they cannot accept same sex relationships. A story like that has been shown through this Painting. The Story behind the Artwork is the Love of two Males who are committed in same sex relationship. And our society also cannot accept this kind of Artwork. This Painting shows that people have learner to accept this kind of Artwork. Through this Painting, it has been revealed that society can adopt same sex relations instead of conventional thinking.



Satadru Sovan Bhanduri
Acrylic on canvas
36 X 48 Inch
2021

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The body is the physical agent & negotiator of the structures of everyday experience. It is the producer of dreams, the transmitter, convey and receiver of cultural messages, a creature of habits, a desiring machine for me, a repository of memories, a performance artist in the Behavioural Art of power, a tissue of affects and feelings.

Unmisha Misra
Collage
6.5 X 6.5 Inch
2020

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In my native language Bangla there are no gendered pronouns or verbs. But Bangla does not have common terminology to describe non-binary people. If Bangla was the only language, I communicated in I’d never have to state preferred pronouns but I would not have a word to call myself either. It is in the coloniser's language that I am able to name myself. The gender binary as we understand it today is a Western construct. Yet from a young age we are taught Bangla grammar in a way that subjects our bodies to this rigid distinction. To tear up and dislocate those pages from a Bangla grammar book in this piece is an act of subversion. I find this dichotomy extremely interesting because our identities are fundamentally constructed through language. In this artwork I try to locate myself linguistically while asserting the freedom of choice afforded by the fluidity of subject positions that stem from my ability to access a multiplicity of cultural and linguistic registers. My queer body is eternally a site of contested and layered signification.

Tarun Kumar Soni
Acrylic on canvas
13 X18 Inch
2021

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This work is painted in high hills of Rashol near kasol where I work. During corona lock down its my abode. Actually no specific extra ordinary story behind this work. I was alone, meditating in village, occasionally thinking about myself, and my life, in some ecstatic state I decided to paint my portrait.

Swapna Halder
Mixed media (tea tint, natural pigment and acrylic)
13 X17 Inch
2021

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In this painting the first girl want to cross the societal boundaries to love her beloved (second girl), who also have her own societal boundaries. There is a black cat in this picture who is portrayed as the society. This society is stopping them to be together. They don’t accept them, and there is another girl who is holding a bloomed flower in her hand. She is asking them to come out of their barriers and bloom together, neglecting the social boundaries.



Saptaparna Majumdar
Acrylic on canvas
12 X12 Inch
2021

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The painting represents the believe in sexuality by birth. The colours of pride flag at the background represents Red=Life, Orange=Healing, Yellow=Sunlight, Green=Nature, Turquoise=Art, Indigo=Serenity. The baby covered in transgender flag represents his/her sexuality by birth i.e. he/she is BORN THIS WAY. The Mother represents as the creator of life but not the creator of babies sexuality or gender. some people are born this way and some people choose their sexuality as LGBTQ.



Sawan Kumar
Oil on canvas
48 X72 Inch
2021

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In my work gender identity and gender typing emerges neither biologically determined nor inevitable, but as a result of moment. Moment interaction with the intermediate social environment. In this work entitled “Sitting with Male Beauty” I want to personify the animal with the male form of beauty. Someone who is raw, aggressive, tender, yet beautiful in appearance. It is characterized by fantasy in a real word environment. I drive my inspiration from poetry and folk tales. My practice predominate interest in this work it has been observation of multipurpose aspects of existence in metropolis body culture of my impression through the image. They are semi-autobiographical excavation of the natural masculinity.





Suchandra Kundu
Water colour, pen, ink, glass markers on paper
48 X 25 Inch
2020

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As a human being I am very used to work in a space surrounded by mostly men, it never bothered me. As it has always been bothered others, the society, friends, family and most importantly my colleagues. As the society taught us to be concern for a woman who is without a man. And I was woman without a man but always surrounded by men. In this particular area I have never disappointed myself, but society did. It was a bumpy road (for me) it still is, but it is hard for them (society) to accept that a woman can be romantically and sexually off limit to men specifically. But eventually they (colleagues, men) did get comfortable around me, with my body of a woman and my homosexual identity. This painting is the representation of that balance of comfort and discomfort of while sharing the same bed in an after work scenario.

Sujit Kumar Karan
Pencil and mixed media on paper
36 X 18 Inch
2021

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The work is centre round the themes of clash between the modernity and the eternity. In contrast with the emptiness of so called modernity, I draw the elements from Nature, sometimes use Folk elements or some distinct mythical symbols to construct the language of my art works that explore the beauty of eternity so aptly.

Aaheli Ghosh
Photography
16 X 20 Inch
2019

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Queer theory acknowledge the wide spectrum of gender sexuality and gender identity. Queer means to disrupt or make something strange. Through my picture 'Inner Self' I want to portray the strange, twisting and unsettling meanings. In this picture we can see the figures r disrupted, twisted which represents the non-binary identities, a particular gender community made up of people who fall outside society's male or female dichotomies. Their gender identities and the way they embody and perform gender Do not coincide with either the fixed biological notion of sex or social notion of gender. The picture also portrays the inner appearance of a person or things. We are sometimes deceived by the outward appearance of a person or things but the inner soul of the person signifies something else which may be consider as strange or beyond normative assumptions.

Nabarun Raha
Photography
11 X 7 Inch
2019

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The frame, captured during "Kolkata Pride Walk", tries to reiterate and amplify the core of the theme, "Looking Beyond the Binaries", by portraying the narrative of " Celebrating the Other", thereby breaking apart the rigid layers of "the restrictive binary mind-set" while blurring the boundaries of it by challenging the conventional oppressive "rules" of the society. The frame also depicts a story of resistance and protest against the prevailing norms of rigidity. The foreground showcases a queer person in a dance posture on the streets of Kolkata, while the background represents a group of heterosexual people varying from all age groups. In short, the frame creates a contrasting story of layers, the backdrop being a metaphor of the current society consisting of people from all stages of life who are watching quietly while the "Queer" admires the "Pride in Identity". Let the world watch while they express themselves by pouring their heart out.

Pankaj Dahalia
Photography
20 X 24 Inch
2020

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It was after I came out to my parents in June 2020 that all the repressed childhood fantasies starting cropping up. I didn't want to wait anymore. This dhoti was given to me by Pandit ji, who was there to do a Kundli pooja because that's what my parents thought could help. A dhoti - I believe is gender non binary clothing famous all across India in various names. To my surprise I was very excited to experiment with the dhoti, to make dresses and silhouettes with it on my body. I locked the doors and picked my sister's old heels because I couldn't spoil the new ones. I desperately tried to fit my foot in. Realising, it would never fit in perfectly I decided to embrace the imperfection.









Archan Mukherjee
Photography
12 X 18 Inch
2018

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The artwork has inspired from a short story of Shankhadeep Musafirana, where the main protagonist a teenage person identifying their inner womanhood confined with the body with growing features of the male hormones, eventually asking an idol maker to give them the shape of the goddess.











Rajpratim Ray
Photography
18 X 12 Inch
2019

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If we see the image minutely, we will find a transgender personality appeared as an idol which can be very much comparable to Goddess Durga. The circular background can be called ‘Chalchitro’ which we normally find beside any idol. Like Devi Durga, we see an animal as companion located in the graffiti. Her (His) dress also symbolizes “ARDHANARISWAR”, who possess both the features of male and female. As we look at the top, we see some curious boys and girls. They are the spectators. All the kids having same dress represents their same mindset. They are the new generation. Only they have the freshly germinated mind. They will establish these HUMANS with proper respect and honor, in the society. Acceptance from the core of the heart and not by any imposition.











Sannidhya Malakar
Photography
16 X 24 Inch
2021

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"Abhisarika" represents a gay bonding, love of a man towards another man. A shadowed artwork with detailed henna work all over man's chest chants that there is no prefixed parameter of array.









Soumyadeep Bhattavharjee
Photography
12 X 18 Inch
2021

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Butterflies have layers of colours, so as 'they'. It's not white or black, masculine or feminine. Their soul flies beyond binaries.








Sourojeet Paul
Photography
12 X 18 Inch
2019

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To be a member of India's LGBTQ+ community is to be marginalised and persecuted. In the past, sexuality of any form has seldom been discussed openly here, meaning that non-traditional attitudes towards love and lust remain taboo. Only the bravest dare come out of the closet. To hear peoples' stories is to understand their struggles and vulnerabilities, and to realise that our desires may be different, but they are all equally valid and parallel. There is no "normal" life in which everyone can be happy. In this photographic series, as people celebrate and express their identities, I imagine a world in which everyone's lived reality reflects their feelings within.







Suvajit Mukherjee
Photography
10 X15 Inch
2019

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This photograph was during in a Pride walk hosted by LGBT community people in Kolkata in 2019. It was a very colourful and joyful pride walk, which started from Mohammad Ali Park in Kolkata. All participant around the pride walk had colourful and vibrant attire and perfectly matched with the colours of rainbow pride. This Transwoman posed for photograph and gave some outstanding expressions. The expression matter in all kind of portrait shot and it reflects more when eye speaks a lot. The eye contact with the camera makes the portrait popped out form the attire scene as this delivered a strong and significant voice of their community.






Dheeraj Kumar
Photography
25 X 25 Inch
2020

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I often come across these forms which asks me - “What is your GENDER?” As an adult, I have lots of questions – What made someone distinctly – male or female? The sexual organs are the obvious differences I figured out which have been assigned to us by birth or the names we are given by our parents? In our society when a child is born, these tags are assigned to the child by the people we live in. Girls are supposed to sit, talk in a different way than Boys. Boys are born to be free and rule, because that’s the majority. However, our naked, bare bodies undressed from frivolity, focused on function and iteration, imagining the countless possibilities which can be actualize. These days in modern Instagram world, what I came across is – there are seven unique gender terms which I was not even aware of – Male, Female, Intersex, Trans, Non confirming, Personal and Eunuch. A male is an individual who describes himself as one of the gender majority. Maleness derived from most of the conversations what I have heard around which growing up is – sperm production, male sexual organs, deep voice after puberty, muscles mass is more. As female features are softer, and her contours implied. when an individual with the conventional characteristics of a male do not perceives himself as male, this individual is understood as sis- male. The variations are Endlessly diverse. If asked, I would say – gender is a Personal choice, it’s a feeling how you see yourself not how you are seen through outside world, based on your characters or the clothes we wear. Someone’s existence in described how society or others see us – he is a man, she is a woman, no! She is not a man; he is not a woman. Neither or both, whereas, for me – body is just a body. Nothing else. Nowadays, I have grown a strong believe that gender doesn’t exists. These are just social constructs that are created by others, who do not understand or want to understand what I feel inside for myself. A Personal gendered individual is someone who identifies as Themselves. So, I engendered myself by my name – through which I am recognized. But again, it’s just a name and a Male Alphabet off course! Concern is – do we need these validations? I intend to continue drafting type that has the complexity and the versatility of the personal. Not an absence of gender, but an irrelevance that embraces the particular. Embraces function. Embraces idiosyncratic beauty. it is an act of liberation from the societal pressures that masculinity has placed on to them. It simply means that traditional standards of what is desirable, beautiful, functional, full of design libido, no longer apply and difficult to comprehend as a necessary component in social projects. Rather than serve a social purpose on the outset, this technology was created for its own end, a social purpose to be found later or never. its initial intent: simply to materialize a “beautiful” idea.



Anunay Rai
Acrylic charcoal and white cement on concrete
9.4 x 9.4 Inch
2021

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It all starts with the eye. How we look at people. We judge them and put them in different categories. Our eyes have penetrative force. They can hurt someone and can also heal them. We need to look within and then we will be able to look beyond and see everyone as a soul.