Jaffna Queer Festival (JQF) is proud to announce its inaugural edition taking place in-person and online from 21 – 30 November, featuring a mix of festival talks, discussions, workshops, poetry readings, a visual art exhibition, and a film program. JQF2021 will be a showcase of queer excellence in the cultural and creative sectors.
Under the directorship of Kasro Ponnuthurai, the festival is launching with great hopes and ambitions for the future. JQF wants to build a regional presence in northern Sri Lanka that supports queer cultural production and circulation. Together with artist and writer Hari Rajaledchumy, we are currently developing programs that facilitate local, national, and international exchanges in dialogue, pedagogy, and cultural production. We believe that cultural work has the potential to intervene and transform conditions of punitive hostility and repression in the region and elsewhere.
The 2021 edition is set to bring important conversations around queer lives, experiences, and expressions. By bringing together contributions that have made their mark in the recent few years, we hope the festival provides a sense of time, place, and direction for queer expressions within the region.
Our talks and discussions program features artists, writers, academics, and cultural organizers. We are thrilled to announce the participation ofIsuru Chamara Somaweera, YaliniDream, Nadika, Shoba Sakthi, Waradas Thiagarajah, Moulee, and Sumathy Sivamohan in this line-up.
The feature films program will showcase Kattumaram (2018, Swarnavel Easwaran), Frangipani (Visakesa Chandrasekaream, 2014), and Roobha (2018, Lenin M Sivam). Under our documentary films screening line-up, we have scheduled works by Prasanna Ramaswamy, Leena Manimekalai, Malini Jeevaratnam, and Crescent Diamond. Our local talent spotlight program will feature works from emerging directors Eezanila and Pirainila Krishnarajah. In addition to these, we are also showcasing artist showreels from D’loKid, YaliniDream, Jiva Parthiban, and Panmai Theatre.
The visual arts exhibition will feature two artist commissions from artists Kajendran Sivasubramaniam and Krishnapriya Thabendran from their time with the Queer/Trans Collaborations 2021 collaborative study program spearheaded by Angel Queentus. The exhibition will take place at Kalam, our venue partner for 2021, and will feature performances and guided tours.
JQF 2021 is delivered in support of commercial and non-commercial partnerships. The invaluable support from our partners enables us to push confidently and decisively for a radically different model of producing culture. We are looking forward to fostering and developing partner relations further in the direction of realizing queer freedoms and possibilities together for the local region. We are deeply thankful for the commitment from Venpa Bookstores, Aze IT Consultancy, Kalam, FoldMedia Collective, Vadaly Publishers, ThaayVeedu Newspaper, PuthiyaSol Magazine, Queer Chennai Chronicles, and the Noolaham Foundation.
JQF2021 is also made possible by loving support and solidarity from communities and individuals with long histories of radical work in the region. We would like to thank every one of you for making this moment a possibility.
Please support us and our work by following our announcements and updates on social media. We can be found on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using the social media handle @jaffnaqfest and website www.jaffnaqueeerfestival.com.