Leaving / Arriving South Asian Feminists, 1986 Today, on the day I leave India, I thought it would be nice to share this picture, which was shared via my mother’s friends on Facebook a few days ago. This is the great South Asian feminist sisterhood, as we know it, circa 1986. My amazing mother Sunila Abeysekera, wears possibly biggest smile in the ...

(A Jungle Healing was originally written for and published in the UK magazine So It Goes, in April 2015. It was a collaboration with Cassie Machado, a British-Sri Lankan artist, whose images the original article was printed with, when they appeared in the magazine. The title, A Jungle Healing, was taken from R Cheran’s poem, of which excerpts appear here, ...

(This was written as a Creative Writing exercise, in writing personal histories. This piece is about my relationship with my mother, Sunila Abeysekera, who was a renowned women’s and human rights activist. She died in September 2013; importantly, this is also about my relationship with her death.) Invoking I’ve found it’s easiest to invoke my mother’s spirit when my ...

BDS — an ethical agenda? I posted this essay from Al-Jazeera English to my Facebook profile today. I understand what it’s like to belong to a nation at the receiving end of boycotts and I know I felt very frustrated and angry about it — to feel that to boycott was to reduce an entire nation of people in a single act, with a ...

Sometimes, a girl has to buy herself flowers Posted originally on Instagram (@subha.w). Sometimes, a girl has to buy herself flowers, the smell of them will fill the house, she will like looking at them, she will take pride in arranging them, she will like how they light up the lonely kitchen, how the morning sun falls on each mysterious petal, And while, like her mother before her, ...

It’s Personal; It Should Be To Us All Mahinda Rajapakse; via Groundviews, via The Daily Beast. Originally published on Groundviews on January 12th, 2015. So you see, democracy is not just a system, a structure; it is also a feeling. It is a feeling within each one of us; a desire to be led, a desire to be led by the things we believe in and the people ...

What’s Really the Problem with HeForShe? Tom Hiddleston supports HeForShe. The din over Emma Watson’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly earlier this week has died; it moved some people very much indeed, while others saw it as hugely problematic. The speech was made to launch a new UN Women campaign, called HeForShe, which asks men to get involved in the struggle for gender equality, ...

What’s Really the Problem with HeForShe? Tom Hiddleston supports HeForShe. The din over Emma Watson’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly earlier this week has died; it moved some people very much indeed, while others saw it as hugely problematic. The speech was made to launch a new UN Women campaign, called HeForShe, which asks men to get involved in the struggle for gender equality, ...

Emma Watson’s Unexceptional, Somewhat Ignorant Speech Emma Watson, at the UN A young, educated, privileged, white woman-celebrity gets appointed a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador six months ago (UN Women is the United Nations organisation that works with women’s rights and issues). At the UN General Assembly, to launch a UN Women campaign on gender equality, this celebrity spokesperson, the Goodwill Ambassador, is asked to make a ...

Emma Watson’s Unexceptional, Somewhat Ignorant Speech Emma Watson, at the UN A young, educated, privileged, white woman-celebrity gets appointed a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador six months ago (UN Women is the United Nations organisation that works with women’s rights and issues). At the UN General Assembly, to launch a UN Women campaign on gender equality, this celebrity spokesperson, the Goodwill Ambassador, is asked to make a ...

‘Nirbhaya: The Play’ and the Simple Power of Stories Being Told From their website. I am very skeptical about testimonial-based works of art, particularly performances. I haven’t seen or read many testimonial-based plays or  ’verbatim’ shows that haven’t left me squirming and cringing in their wake — usually because they are melodramatic, over-acted, full of unmitigated angst and hardly ever provide any real interpretation or analysis. Lately, I have been personally ...

‘Nirbhaya: The Play’ and the Simple Power of Stories Being Told From their website. I am very skeptical about testimonial-based works of art, particularly performances. I haven’t seen or read many testimonial-based plays or  ‘verbatim’ shows that haven’t left me squirming and cringing in their wake — usually because they are melodramatic, over-acted, full of unmitigated angst and hardly ever provide any real interpretation or analysis. Lately, I have been personally ...

On Sunday night (March 16) Ruki Fernando and Fr Praveen, prominent Sri Lankan human rights defenders, were taken into detention in Kilinochchi under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. This followed the arrest of Jeyakumari Balendran and her young daughter on March 14; Balendran, the mother of a disappeared former LTTE cadre, has been outspoken about political disappearances in Sri Lanka, ...

On Sunday night (March 16) Ruki Fernando and Fr Praveen, prominent Sri Lankan human rights defenders, were taken into detention in Kilinochchi under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. This followed the arrest of Jeyakumari Balendran and her young daughter on March 14; Balendran, the mother of a disappeared former LTTE cadre, has been outspoken about political disappearances in Sri Lanka, ...

Originally published here. ———————————————————————————————– The Namal Rajapaksa Twitter fiasco: Sri Lanka, sexism & political correctness Subha Wijesiriwardena is a Sri Lankan blogger and theatre practitioner currently living in Bangalore, India. The Namal Rajapaksa Twitter fiasco of March 4th revealed to us a grea

Originally published here. ———————————————————————————————– The Namal Rajapaksa Twitter fiasco: Sri Lanka, sexism & political correctness Subha Wijesiriwardena is a Sri Lankan blogger and theatre practitioner currently living in Bangalore, India. The Namal Rajapaksa Twitter fiasco of March 4th revealed to us a grea

BEYONCÉ and The Dilemma of the Post-Feminism Feminist In the TED talk by Chimamanda Adichie, now widely famous because excerpts of it have been featured in a song off the all-new Beyoncé album (titled BEYONCÉ), she says the best feminist she knows is her brother, who is, she assures you, very masculine. Adichie is very much a spokesperson for the young, articulate, optimistic post-feminist world she inhabits: the ...

BEYONCE: The Dilemma of the Post-Feminism Feminist In the TED talk by Chimamanda Adichie, now widely famous because excerpts of it have been featured in a song off the all-new Beyonce album (titled BEYONCE), she says the best feminist she knows is her brother, who is, she assures you, very masculine. Adichie is very much a spokesperson for the young, articulate, optimistic post-feminist world she inhabits: the ...

Indian Supreme Court’s Ruling on Gay-Sex: Can Congress Stand Up to India’s Right-Wing? The Indian Supreme Court’s ruling today which once again criminalizes gay-sex, and thereby in principle homosexuality, has sparked angry protests and evoked much disappointment across the nation and in the region beyond. In 2009, in a landmark moment in Indian and South Asian history, the Delhi High Court ruled that the section of the Indian Penal Code which criminalized ...

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