When L J Violet and I started planning on the Queer LitFest our initial idea was to approach for sponsors. As the discussion furthered we gathered feedback from friends and acquaintances; we discussed with few corporates and organisations and at the end of the discussion the only thing stayed with us was what we already knew — we would lose our autonomy. We won’t be able to have the discussions on our terms. As suggested by friends we are here seeking support for the LitFest through crowd funding.
On the other hand, If you would like to help us in other ways — by covering the venue cost/printing cost and so on, we are open to the idea and are ready to discuss; but only on the condition that the content of the event would be on our terms.
From the time we started QCC, and after the release of Vidupattavai one of the repeated question that we face in every meeting is — why would you label literature. I believe those who are acquainted with the literary circle in Tamil Nadu and India know the answer already. Also when we started QCC our aim was to empower and identify queer writers, especially in Tamil as we believe literature plays an important role in documenting history and a tool for activism. And that is one of the primary reason why we try to engage with ‘mainstream’ individuals and groups in our events and otherwise. And we hope that the LitFest would be a space where allies who are in the field of writing and activism can exchange and engage along with queer writers and activists.
Why Queer LitFest
Isn’t all literature, literature? Why label something as Queer and have a dedicated litfest for that?
It is true that Queer Literature are sometimes discussed on the mainstream and alternative literature festivals of India. But they doesn’t have the opportunity to discuss the wide spectrum of diverse Queer voices, and they often end up as spaces for discussing current queer issues in general. The literary value of a work, and the queerness of the work or author, are discussed only the loss of the other. Needless to say, many public spaces in India are queerphobic and or not safe for the queer community. These again are all that’s available for writings in English, and a certain kind of works that get repeatedly translated into English.
So every work of art is filled with political undertones, ambitions among other things. Queer literature is literature, we agree with you, and welcome you to discuss the literary value of it without invisibilizing the queerness of it. A focus of our litfest is certainly that. Identity politics is not new for us either, the greatest intellectuals of our country have explained the importance of the names we are called by which are used as tools to oppression or empowerment.
We have briefed about the event, and why we need the money that has been quoted in the campaign etc in the campaign page. Please share and support. And feel free to reach out to L J Violet or me if you need any further information.