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LGBT Archiving in India: a meeting in Bengaluru, Aug 17-18, 2013

From: Niruj, Amrita, Alternative Law Forum 

We would like to invite you to a workshop on LGBT archiving in India.
When  :  Aug 17-18, 2013 (Saturday-Sunday)
Where :  Indian Social Institute, Benson Town, Bengaluru
Background : The last couple of years has seen many projects across the country, started by individuals and small groups, to archive LGBT experiences around them. One might think that the LGBT movement in India is too young to archive, but that is arguably not so. Archives are not dead museums and libraries but living records of ongoing experiences, as well as an attempt to preserve the voices, smells, thoughts and tastes of what is changing maybe a bit too rapidly. They can also be a way to ensure the future can be read in perspective, and linked to what is past.

In order to bring people who are working on archives together, and also to present a couple of pilot projects we have been doing in Bengaluru, we are organising this workshop on Aug 17-18.

The aims of this workshop include

  • Bring together such people for the first time in the country
  • Present our pilot projects to the community and have others share theirs too
  • Enable a discussion on the nature of such LGBT archives – content, form, etc, and share experiences and ideas
  • Start initiatives for future projects across the country
  • Build a community of people who would nucleate such activities where they live


Programme : The first day will be panel discussions with some of the people who have been involved in archiving efforts in the country. The second day involves more general discussions on topics of interest to archiving practices in the future. We invite you all to participate in these workshops. We will be putting up material on the panelists work before the workshop to facilitate fruitful discussion. The preliminary programme is attached at the end of this email (almost all panelists listed have confirmed).

Logistics : We have some limited funds which we are using to partially support our panelists. This means we will not be able to support travel and accomodation of others who would like to come. This is unfortunate, but we hope some of you can indeed join us. We know that there are many people all across India who have been archiving what is happening around them. Though we are unable to access enough funds to get all of them to the workshop, we hope that such efforts will grow and be supported as a result of this workshop.
If you have any suggestions for the workshop – people who have been doing some archival work which we have missed, suggestions for discussion topics, resources etc, do let us know.
Closer to the date of the workshop, we will circulate another email to let you know the final schedule as well as circulate any material our panelists and others send us, and also to ask for rsvp so that we can arrange for lunch.
Niruj, Amrita, Alternative Law Forum
Schedule  :  Towards building LGBT archives 

Day 1 : Aug 17, Saturday 

9:30 AM      Welcome & Logistics  – Niruj Mohan

9:40 AM      Why do we need to archive? – Lawrence Liang

10:00 AM     Archiving the Present :  a panel discussion – Shivaji Panikkar, C. S. Lakshmi, Saleem Kidwai

11:00 AM     Tea Break

11:30 AM     Presenting ArGaSMI –  Niruj Mohan, Sonu Niranjan, Priya Prabhu, Amrita Chanda, Shubha Chacko

12:15 PM     Presenting an archive of Indian LGBT films – Namita Malhotra

12:30 PM     Online Archives : a panel discussion – L. Ramakrishnan, Namita Malhotra, Amrita Chanda, Shubha Chacko, Poorva Rajaram

1:15 PM      Lunch

2:30 PM      Screening of Bolo movie

2:45 PM      Archiving our experiences : a panel discussion – Sridhar Rangayan, Sunil Mohan, Sumathi Murthy, R. Revathi, T. Jayashree, Priya Babu

4:00 PM      Tea Break

4:30 PM      Resurrecting histories – Owais Khan, Ayisha Abraham, Indian memory project


Day 2 : Aug 18, Sunday 

10:00 AM    Global LGBT archives – Niruj Mohan

10:15 AM    What to archives, Who archives, How to archive ? – General Discussion

11:15 AM    Tea Break

11:45 AM    Future projects, networking, archival practices – General Discussion

12:45 PM    Lunch

2:00 PM     Archival footage

2:15 PM     LGBT archiving for global South – General Discussion

3:15 PM     Feedback and Summary

4:00 PM     Tea Break

4:30 PM     Technical issues (internet- focussed) – General Discussion

Note: Orinam is part of this effort to archive our LGBT histories.


4 Comments. Add your own »

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  1. We at Satrang (Southern California) try and gather our “firsts” and also any media exposure. However, there are so many other things and ways to archive our history and stories that I wish I was attending this conference! Not only would I learn new things, I would meet such amazing people (including some whom I know personally)! All the best!


  3. Hello all, I will be coming from Delhi based NGO, TARSHI ( Talking About Reproductive Health and Sexual Issues).

    Really looking forward to being part of this archiving.

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