Recording Kolkata and India's queer histories
This is an initiative to document five decades of queer lives in Kolkata (1960-2000). Our aim in this project is to go back in time and bring forward diverse queer voices through a series of interviews, which can provide a landmark to Kolkata city's queer history. Typically, the focus is on the queer scenario in Kolkata during the growing up years of each interviewee – how it was to be queer in Kolkata in different decades since the 1960s till more recent times. The effort is to bring forward a mix of the well known and the lesser known voices.
Apart from interview excerpts published in the Varta webzine (under a column called Qatha), the project also aims to publish a collection of the interviews in different formats. All interviews are based on informed consent and where requested, all markers of identity are removed for reasons of confidentiality.
Articles published under Qatha till date are listed below:
Qatha: A Doctor’s Story – Part 1 and Part 2; Pawan Dhall and Sukanya Roy Ghose; December 2013 and January 2014 issues.
Qatha: Of Real and Reel Stories – Part 1 and Part 2; Pawan Dhall and Sukanya Roy Ghose; February and March 2014 issues.
Qatha: Love in Calcutta via Africa and UK – Part 1 and Part 2; Pawan Dhall and Sukanya Roy Ghose; April and May 2014 issues.
Qatha: An Adventurer Speaks – read here; Paramita Banerjee; June 2014 issue.
Qatha: Times and Lives of Girly Boys from ‘60s Kolkata – Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3; Pawan Dhall and Soma Roy Karmakar; February, March and April 2015 issues.
Qatha: Brother Queer Brother – Part 1 and Part 2; Pawan Dhall and Soma Roy Karmakar; August and September 2015 issues.
Qatha: Recalling Dark Room Discoveries and More – Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3; Pawan Dhall; August, September and October 2016 issues.
Qatha: On the Uses of ‘Sil-Batta’ to Make You Straight and More Queer Tales – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4; Pawan Dhall and Soma Roy Karmakar; June, July, August and November 2018 issues.