The first edition of Queer LitFest was organised in 2018 by Queer Chennai Chronicles (QCC) through crowd funding. The first edition celebrated various voices of Queer Literature in India, with a special focus on the Tamil Queer Literature. QCC LitFest 2018 was a one day packed event, consisting of Panel Discussions, Lectures, Poetry readings, Book Readings, and a Lunch break.
The Litfest brought together Queer authors, translators, creators, with media persons, Queer community and allies and stimulated conversations about Queerness in Indian languages and Indian English writings.
You can watch the QCC Queer LitFest 2018, Chennai videos in our YouTube channel and also listen to the audio podcast — https://www.queerlitfest.com/qlf2018
In the 2018 Queer LitFest, we also introduced the Social Justice Pride Flag to resonate the more inclusive queer politics that we believe in. More information about the Social Justice Pride Flag can be found at https://medium.com/qcc-blog/the-social-justice-pride-flag-635e51b80494.
We thank our friends, the speakers, participants and everyone who helped us financially, and took part in the Queer Litfest 2018. Also, we are happy to announce the Queer Litfest 2019, Chennai.
Last year’s expense particulars have been updated in Queer Chennai Chronicles’ Facebook page.
This year the Queer LitFest 2019, Chennai will also be a one-day event with panels, discussions, workshops, book announcements and readings.
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.