Arts

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You are not meeting my eyes. They are beneath the cloth I wear on my head, actually.

No, I am from America.

Yes, it is called a hijab.

No, this cloth is not hijab.

Hijab is not a covering, a hiding-away, a flinching-back. It is a coming-out, a blazing-through.

Hijab is not here for you to fetishize taking it off with your fingers/armies/democracy.

Hijab is suffering for democracy.

Glimpses of a Muslim Childhood

Sajda

On the morning of my sixth or seventh Eid,
My mother dressed me in white Pakistani robes,

Holding my hand gently
As we walked through the bright wooden gates
Of the Islamic Community Center by our house.
I had not yet learned how to pray.

But my mother taught me how to bow in sajda,
The devotion of pressing one’s forehead
To the ground to feel smaller than God
has made you,
to feel as grounded
as feet.

As I lifted my forehead
from the carpeted floor of the mosque,

Memory as Guide: Iam.lk and personal narratives of Sri Lanka

Ahalya Satkunaratnam reflects on how the stories of elders in the website, Iam.lk assist in complicating identity in Sri Lanka and how this site provides a discussion of national history and personal belonging that circumvents hostility that often accompanies web-based discussions of identity, the nation and the war.

Lean Left: Young Radical Voices

Flash back to the first time you met another Desi lefty. Can you remember the quickening of your heart? Your excitement at finding someone who cared about the same issues and communities? For most of us, the moment we realized we weren’t alone in the world, struggling against the conservative expectations of our parents, aunties and uncles - when we realized that we had sisters and brothers in the cause who understand where we come from and where we wanted this world to go - was life-changing. 

Talking of Muskaan: A review

Rupali Ghosh provides a review of Himanjali Sankar's Talking of Muskaan, a recently published novel about sexuality and coming of age for young adult readers.

insh'allah & airport ode #1

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha's poems evoke borders of bodies and nation.

 

Pride: There is no going back

Sabelo Narasimhan reflects on this year's Gay Pride parade in Bombay, India. In the wake of the recent judgement criminalizing homosexuality, the images in this photoessay reveal the unbounded spirit of rebellion and resistance of the community.

Book Review: Corona by Bushra Rehman (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2013)

This fragmented, musical novel breaks the prettiness of memory, brings irreverent humor where it should, shows the crisscross of ethnic neighborhoods in New York City, and celebrates love in the midst of violence. 

Phir bi Dil Hai Inquilabi

Sonny Singh of Red Baraat explores the how revolution has evolved in meaning and music

Inquilab Zindabad

Choreographer Joti Singh reflects on her own familial connections to Ghadar history,  staged recently in her production "Red, Saffron, and Green."

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