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Preview - Between The Lines: Negotiating South Asian LBGT Identity

Parmesh Shahani
03/25/2004

Between the Lines: Negotiating South Asian LBGT Identity is the first event of its kind to be organized in Massachusetts. This is a festival of film, video, readings and discussion that will be held at MIT between April 1-3, 2004.

Why the need for Between the Lines
The quest for a holistic gay identity is being dramatically played out on today's world stage. While in USA, the arguments rage for and against the right to gay marriages, in South Asian countries like India, a noisy revolution is taking place for the right to recognition and dignity and the repeal of the country's colonial anti-sodomy laws in the Indian Penal Code. The battle in both cases is being fought largely through the media. But it is peculiar that in today's global connected world, the gay movements seem so geographically insular. Between the Lines is an attempt to bridge the gap between the LBGT movements of South Asia and USA and lay the groundwork for future partnerships and co-operation. It is a way of showcasing the wonderful creative diversity of the South Asian LBGT community and an attempt to facilitate interaction and an understanding of what constitutes a South Asian LBGT identity. It is also an endeavor to build bridges - with the several gay and straight cultures that coexist in our society today, and ultimately a celebration of both - the commonalities as well as the differences.

Festival Program
Truckdrivers with Chutney April 1: 6pm; Room 3 - 270
Lesbian and women-oriented South Asian LBGT movies and videos.
Happiness Forever April 1: 9.30pm; Room 3 - 270
Sixth Happiness - fictional movie biography of gay disabled writer, Firdaus Kanga.
BomGay to LA: A tribute to Riyad Wadia April 2: 6pm; Room 34 - 101
Retrospective of the late Riyad Wadia's documentaries BomGay (India's first gay film) and A Mermaid Called Aida, accompanied by readings of recent works by India's leading gay writer R Raj Rao and Los Angeles based novelist, Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla.
Eat, Drink, Man, Woman April 2: 9pm - Lobdell Food Court
Official Festival Dinner Reception, sponsored by Queer Asian Pacific Alliance - New England and Boston (QAPA) and the Massachusetts Asian & Pacific Islanders for Health (MAP).
Get Out of Here! April 3: 2.30 pm; Room 34 - 101 LBGT shorts on issues of coming out and dealing with one's sexuality in a unique South Asian context. (Including Rewriting the Script, Three, Everything, Beauty Parlour, South Asian - Happy and Gay, The Goddess Method, For Straights Only and many more.)

Negotiating a South Asian LBGT Identity April 3: 6pm; Room 34 - 101 Panel Discussion with festival guests of honor, Boston LBGT activists and scholars. Goodbye...in Pink! April 3: 8pm; Room 34 101
Boston premiere of the hilarious Bombay drag film - Gulabi Aaina (The Pink Mirror).

MASALA Party April 3: 9pm Final dance party, organized by Massachusetts Area South Asian Lambda Association (Boston MASALA).
Sponsors
MIT Large Event Funding (LEF)
LBGT @ MIT
Program in Comparative Media Studies at MIT
MIT Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures
MIT Program in Women's Studies
MIT Office of the Arts
MIT BGALA (Bisexual Gay and Lesbian Alums)
Rainbow Coffee House at MIT
MIT Committee on Campus Race Relations
SANGAM - The Indian Students' Association at MIT
Massachusetts Area South Asian Lambda Association (Boston MASALA)
Queer Asian Pacific Alliance - New England and Boston
Massachusetts Asian & Pacific Islanders for Health
Alliance for a Secular and Democratic South Asia
Funded (in part) by the Council for the Arts at MIT

For further information, kindly visit http://mit.edu/cms/betweenthelines or email parmesh@mit.edu.
Feel free to forward this email to anyone that you think may be interested in this event.

(Parmesh Shahani Organizer, Between the Lines is in the Graduate Program in Comparative Media Studies at MIT. )

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