Tagged Under: Vartanama

  • 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
    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
    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? Should I...

  • 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!”
    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
    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
    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
    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.
    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.
    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
    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...

  • Graphic shows a screen grab of a home video made by the author’s father, late Prakash Chandra Dhall, with digital liquefy effect. The screen grab has images of the author as a toddler in his mother’s arms (along with a few children from the neighbourhood) in the verandah of the author’s childhood home. But these have been modified such that the entire graphic appears to consist of wavelets of water with multi-coloured reflections. Graphic credit: Pawan Dhall
    Apr '17

    Recurring dreams, random thoughts

    By Pawan Dhall

    Recurrent and vivid dreams of water have fascinated me since years, perhaps even childhood. I see water in my dreams as blue, black, transparent; still, moving, flowing; peaceful, playful, terrorizing,...

  • Quote: Irom Chanu Sharmila may have stepped away from the politics of polls, but her politics of resistance will live on. Like subterranean water – not visible, nonetheless there – a deep aquifer of silent energy, quietly influencing life above ground.
    Mar '17

    Incremental change

    By Pawan Dhall

    Civil rights champion, political activist and poet Irom Chanu Sharmila may have lost in the recent Manipur Legislative Assembly elections. But all is not lost. Perhaps her defeat was expected,...

  • Photograph shows a poster on the back of an auto-rickshaw parked on a street in Hyderabad. The poster says: “Increase your sex limit, solve internal problems – else take your money back; trusted by million peoples”. The text is accompanied by a silhouette of a man and woman hugging each other and looking into each other’s eyes. The couple is standing on a sea beach, with the waves rushing on to the shore and the sun setting in the background, giving the sky a golden glow. A phone number is provided for people to call the service provider, but the name of the service provider is not legible. Photo credit: Pawan Dhall
    Feb '17

    Time for adult sex education?

    By Pawan Dhall

    So the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India has launched an adolescent health resource kit that includes information on sexual and reproductive health, mental health, violence, substance...

  • Art in museums, films, ropes and charpoys

    By Pawan Dhall

    I think I’m passing through a happy hours phase. No, not for guzzling beer or cheap Internet services; rather this is about being invigorated by the arts in all their...

  • Dec '16

    ‘Yahan se shahar ko dekho’

    By Pawan Dhall

    Christmas is in the air, and the New Year is nigh. Given as we are to stock taking this time of the year (as if there’s not a New Year...

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