Tagged Under: Vartanama

  • This illustration is a graphic that simply says “#KeralaFlood”. The graphic symbolizes the theme of the article, which is essentially an appeal to the readers to donate resources for the relief work being carried out in Kerala after the havoc caused by recent massive floods in the state. The graphic text is in black colour on a light yellow background.
    Vartanama Aug '18

    Lending a helping hand

    By Pawan Dhall

    'Varta' appeals to its readers to contribute as much as they can - every bit counts!

  • This photograph shows a queer community vigil organized in Chennai during the Supreme Court hearings on Section 377, Indian Penal Code from July 10-17, 2018. Eight individuals, most of them transgender women, are seated on the floor or on chairs inside a hall like room. They are holding up rainbow pride flags and placards in English and Tamil that say “No 377”. Behind them is a large rainbow pride banner that is spread across the width of the room. In the right corner of the photograph we can see a video camera recording the proceedings. In the background, the entrance to the hall can be seen as well as a reception counter near the entrance. Photo credit: Jaya Sahodaran
    Vartanama Jul '18

    Birthday fervour?

    By Pawan Dhall

    It’s a momentous occasion for 'Varta' to turn five and also government’s silly season on queer issues

  • This graphic announces ‘Reach OUT’, a multimedia campaign to publicize an online locator or database on queer friendly health and legal aid services across India. This locator has been developed by Varta Trust, Kolkata; Grindr For Equality, Los Angeles; and SAATHII, Chennai. The campaign will run from June to August 2018. On the left side, the graphic shows the ‘Reach OUT’ logo. It consists of a partially open hand reaching upwards, as if to hold on to something. The hand forms the letter ‘R’ in the word ‘Reach’ which is written out in deep red colour. Right below the word ‘Reach’ is the word ‘Out’ in bold lettering and coloured in the queer pride rainbow flag colours. Next to the logo is text that says: “Locate queer-friendly health and legal services near you”. The graphic background is all white. Artwork credit: Brindaalakshmi K. and Parvathy
    Vartanama Jun '18

    For your well being!

    By Pawan Dhall

    Varta’s online locator for queer friendly health and legal aid service providers is formally launched!

  • This main illustration is a poster of the film ‘S.D. Saroj Dutta and His Times’. A black and white photograph of Saroj Dutta, communist intellectual and revolutionary associated with the Naxalbari movement, occupies centre space in the poster. The edges of the photograph are stylized like that of a postage stamp, with a white border framing the photograph on all sides. Saroj Dutta seems to have a rather serene look on his face. The initials ‘S.D.’ in large font coloured red are printed on the bottom left of the poster. The top right corner carries the graphic of a circular rubber stamp with the name of the film printed along the circumference and the duration mentioned in the centre (115 minutes). The poster background has a partial hand drawn outline map of India, with places where the Naxalbari movement had its bases handwritten in Bengali – in particular Naxalbari itself and Srikakulam. Several other bases of the movement in eastern India are marked on the map with small star-like jottings. More Bengali handwritten text in the background, above Saroj Dutta’s head, says that the Naxalbari movement aims to show a way forward to the downtrodden masses in society. Text printed below Saroj Dutta’s photograph prominently mentions the names of the filmmakers Kasturi Basu and Mitali Biswas. Other film credits follow in smaller text in three lines. The poster also mentions that the film is in Bangla with English sub-titles. Poster courtesy: Facebook page of ‘S.D. Saroj Dutta and His Times’
    Vartanama May '18

    Cinema of questioning the world order

    By Pawan Dhall

    The summers just got that much more intense with some gripping cinema!

  • The photograph shows a scene from the ‘MyNameKeepsChanging – No More Rape, Murder and Violence’ event organized by the women’s rights collective Maitree at Hazra Park in South Kolkata on April 18, 2018. The occasion was to protest the incidents of rape in Kathua in Jammu & Kashmir, Kushmandi in West Bengal and Unnao in Uttar Pradesh, and the thoroughly inept and biased government response to these incidents. The photograph shows a section of the crowd gathered at the event to hold a candlelight silent protest. About 20 people can be seen standing facing the thoroughfare next to Hazra Park so as to catch the attention of the people walking by or sitting in the vehicles passing by. The right side profiles of the protestors are visible in the photograph. The only exception is a young smiling man who has turned to look back and talk to someone behind him in the crowd. His smiling face stands out in the sea of heads of the protestors. In the background can be seen traffic lights, shops with signboards, a few trees and a number of people on the pavement across the road. Photo credit: Pawan Dhall
    Vartanama Apr '18

    When will the tide turn?

    By Pawan Dhall

    Both photographs in this article were clicked during an event organized on April 18, 2018 by Maitree, a pioneering women’s rights network in West Bengal

  • This visual shows a portion of the poster designed for Kolkata screenings of the film ‘The Little Girls We Were . . . And the Women We Are’. The poster text says: “RAHI Foundation presents ‘The Little Girls We Were . . . And the Women We Are’ – Five Indian women survivors of incest and child sexual abuse share their journey from abuse to recovery. A poignant blend of personal testimonies, information and expert comments, this film gives the message of hope and recovery to survivors.” The text is accompanied with two visuals from the film. One of them shows a woman writing something in a diary – the camera is behind her and we can see the back of her head, neck and shoulders. There is a tattoo with stars and some text painted on the back of her neck. The second visual shows a hand holding a piece of paper burning – there is writing on the paper, not fully visible but possibly talking about the sense of shame that victims of incest or child sexual abuse often feel. Poster visual courtesy RAHI Foundation
    Vartanama Mar '18

    Little women versus patriarchy – and the winner is . . .

    By Pawan Dhall

    Morning newspapers are all about marvelling with horror at the survival challenges we as a deeply unequal society throw at our girls and women. And then I marvel some more...

  • This is a graphic abstraction of a garden of leaves, flowers, tendrils and small plants. To the inside of a rectangular frame with thick black borders can be seen an assortment of flora in shades of black, grey and light yellow along all four sides of the frame. In the centre is an open space sprayed with small light blue spheres, some slightly bigger and some very tiny, while others seem to have exploded into a cloudburst of dots – in a way symbolizing the dissipation of life into thin air, no longer there but still present in the form of the flora shown around the frame. This graphic was created with Windows Microsoft Paint software. Graphic credit: Pawan Dhall
    Vartanama Feb '18

    Of death wish lists

    By Pawan Dhall

    Death doesn’t have to be something morbid. Especially if one considers what Rabindranath Tagore said about death being ‘completion’ and not the ‘end’ of life (or so I remember from...

  • The photograph is an image from the 2009 film ‘Eden Is West’ (‘Eden à l'ouest’) directed by Greek-French filmmaker Costa Gavras. It is a long shot of a medium-sized motorized boat full of people standing or sitting on the edges, presumably undocumented immigrants. As the boat crosses a calm sea, it leaves behind a wake in the water. In the background the sky is aglow with the sun setting behind distant mountains. The entire scene is one of melancholy. The film ‘Eden Is West’ is a drama centred around the undocumented immigrants living in the European Union. The image has been used in a representational sense here. Photo courtesy: Google Images

    No Eden anywhere?

    By Sayan Bhattacharya

    When I was asked to write the 'Varta' editorial for this month, I was in a fix. How does one write about yet another year ending and another beginning?

  • The graphic shows an illustration, which is captioned “Look before you pee!?!” It is borrowed from a cartoon series published in the January to July 1997 issue of ‘Naya Pravartak’, a queer journal published in the 1990s by Counsel Club, one of India’s earliest queer support groups (1993-2002). The cartoon, done in an exaggerated style, shows a man using a urinal in a public toilet. The man is looking to his right towards a second man in the adjacent urinal. Distracted, the first man doesn’t realize that he has not been aiming right and has splashed on a third man to his left. The third man is aghast, but the first man remains oblivious. The cartoon also shows a little birdie sitting on a window ledge above the urinals and looking down with a puzzled expression, while the sun outside is peering in and having a good laugh at the comedy of errors inside the toilet. The cartoon artwork (done with black ink on paper) was by Ranjan, while the ideas thinktank behind the cartoons consisted of Navonil, Pawan, Peter, Rana, Shane and other members and friends of Counsel Club. The illustration is accompanied by a quote from the article text that says: “In this discussion on inclusive, safe and universally designed toilets, men, especially those with the privileges of money, heterosexuality, cisgender identity and absence of any major disability, can’t afford to be disinterested bystanders. Not only are many of them policy and decision makers charged with responsibility for greater good, but they can also get mugged in a toilet, heckled by other men stronger than them, or slip, fall and break a bone in a badly designed toilet. They could also be harbouring the pisser’s block from younger days, and as we know, retention of any kind (whether it’s urine or power without responsibility) is bad for health!”
    Vartanama Dec '17

    Toilets: Inclusive, safe and universally designed

    By Pawan Dhall

    To pee or not to pee – in a public toilet! Till this day any decision in this regard has sometimes to be taken even before I have left home.

  • This graphic is a collage created with key illustrations used in the articles in this month’s issue of ‘Varta’ (November 2017). The long descriptions of each of the illustrations can be found in the respective articles, that is, ‘Cinema, Commerce and Causes', ‘Government Letdown on Transgender and Intersex Rights Legislation’, ‘PIL in Calcutta High Court to Push for Transgender Rights’, and ‘Voicing Out Stasis in Transgender Lives’. The collage is enclosed in a thought cloud, which is placed on a background with brown colour. Collage credit: Pawan Dhall
    Vartanama Nov '17

    Down, but not out!

    By Pawan Dhall

    Three of the articles in this issue of 'Varta' talk about the continued hardships faced by transgender and intersex people in India. All jab us in the eye at how far...

  • This rectangular banner-shaped graphic symbolizes completion of 50 issues of the ‘Varta’ webzine. Simple in design, it has the Varta Trust logo to the left and stylized text saying “50 issues” to the right. All over are scattered heart symbols in different colours. The entire graphic has a wavy sheen to it in different light and dark shades of gold. The overall effect is one of positivity and stolidity. Graphic credit: Rudra Kishore Mandal
    Vartanama Oct '17

    Varta@50 says thank you!

    By Pawan Dhall, Rudra Kishore Mandal

    Fortunate is the editor who gets to compensate the lack of inspiration for his 50th editorial with a thank you note! With this being the 50th monthly issue of Varta, it...

  • Word cloud roughly in the shape of a diamond to highlight the issues talked about in the article below. There is key emphasis on the word ‘vigilance’, which stands out in big point size and red colour in the centre. Other words, all in blue or red colour, include ‘criticism’, ‘diversity’, ‘gender’, ‘health’, ‘law’, ‘legislation’, ‘medication’, ‘mental’, ‘policy’, ‘rules’, ‘sexuality’, ‘standards’, ‘therapy’ and ‘transgender’. Graphic credit: Pawan Dhall
    Vartanama Sep '17

    What price vigilance?

    By Pawan Dhall

    A new media acquaintance wondered what the focus of this issue’s editorial would be. He was sure I would write about journalist Gauri Lankesh's murder. Well, he wasn’t wrong. But...

  • This photograph shows a scene from NGO Civilian Welfare Foundation’s annual walk in Kolkata to celebrate the cause of the Paralympics. A walker is seen standing with a poster that says “Born to Be Free” and has the sketch of a para-athlete in a running pose drawn in the centre. Birds can be seen flying in the background of the poster, as also a kite soaring in the sky. The text and the graphics are rendered in eye-catching red and black. A few other walkers can be seen next to the walker holding the poster. This year’s walk in South Kolkata on August 28, 2017 attracted nearly 300 participants, including a number of para-athletes who won medals for India in the Paralympics held last year in Rio de Janeiro. Photo credit: Pawan Dhall.
    Vartanama Aug '17

    Freer, hardier, sexier

    By Pawan Dhall

    Freer, hardier, sexier! How about that as a motto for achieving a better life for everyone? A motivation where the contest is with our limitations in becoming a more just...

  • This main photograph shows an evening view of Dundee city in Scotland from the Law, a hill formed by an extinct volcano that is also the highest point of Dundee. The word ‘law’ itself in Scots means ‘hill’. In the foreground several clumps of a white flowering plant can be seen on the slope down from the viewpoint, which is on top of the hill. Further below is dense foliage of trees in darkness. Further below are the city lights of streets and buildings right up to the Tay riverside. Across the blue expanse of the Tay River is the Tay Road Bridge that connects Dundee to Fife on the far side. The bridge is lit up almost like a white band across the river. More hills can be seen across the river and then a partially clouded grey skyline. Photo credit: Pawan Dhall.

    Planes, trains, automobiles, access and history

    By Pawan Dhall

    Four taxi and two private car trips, five bus trips, as many train rides (above and below ground) and six flights – in all I undertook 22 point-to-point journeys on...

  • Quote: The posts, some of them pretty insightful and perhaps even cathartic for the writers, have attracted considerable likes, laughs and comments. All good in the spirit of freedom of speech, and some of these posts may even compel a few of the Adarsh Gay Bhakts and Sanskari Homos to introspect on their double standards and biased outlooks. But as they say, too much of a good thing need not be good.
    Vartanama Jun '17

    One foot in the door

    By Pawan Dhall

    Adarsh Gay Bhakt, Sanskari Homo, Adarsh NRI Homo . . . a quick search on Facebook will take you to some of these posts that have been doing the rounds...

  • This graphic is a sketch made with a variety of coloured pens on off-white paper. Within a frame made of curvaceous lines, a genderqueer person with long crinkly hair seems to peep out from the left hand side of the frame. They have big eyes wide open, a large diamond shaped ‘bindi’ on the forehead, and a necklace on a bare chest. The figure has been drawn in blue and red coloured pens. To the right of the frame is a mish-mash of outlined patterns like flowers, leaves and other geometric figures. These are done mostly in red and pink, with snatches of green, violet and other colours. The genderqueer person’s face with its sense of magnetism dominates the sketch. The graphic has been placed on a black background to enhance its intricate details. The graphic is dated November 3, 2016. Graphic credit: Anupam Hazra
    Vartanama May '17

    State stupor in trans inclusion

    By Pawan Dhall, Anupam Hazra

    Sumana Pramanik is a young trans woman who lives in the Nadia district of West Bengal. Keen on a legal gender identity change, she approached a First Class Magistrate for...

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