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Artwork by Diya Sengupta

In celebration of Global Pride Month and British Council and BFI's ‘More Films for Freedom’ festival which showcases a collection of three short films exploring LGBTQIA+ themes, British Council in partnership with The Queer Muslim Project presents #PrideAtHome - Digital Pride Festival!

With pride marches being cancelled or postponed due to the COVID 19 pandemic, the digital pride festival brings together a set of extraordinary voices from the queer art and cultural scene in India and the UK through film, dance, music and theatre to discuss and celebrate the spirit of inclusion

While Indian cities celebrate Pride at different times of the year, the Global Pride Month celebration allows for visibility and awareness of LGBTIQ+ issues in India and also demonstrates solidarity in fostering safe and enabling spaces for self-expression, creative collaborations and community building.

In addition to the exciting range of events from 15 to 28 June, the Digital Pride Festival will also feature educational resources around the history of Pride and allyship designed by Siddhant Talwar (@realsidt) and spotlight queer art initiatives in India including Almarii, an archive of South Asian queer closet narratives, the Aravani Art Project, a collective movement working to enable the transgender community through visual arts, socially inclusive experiments and magic, Dalit Queer Project, a collaborative space for all people Dalit and queer and Veer Misra, queer artist from Delhi.

Gaylaxy, India’s leading LGBTIQ+ e-magazine, has joined hands with Digital Pride Festival as a community media partner sharing stories and features during #prideathome.

Festival Schedule:

Artwork by Diya Sengupta

Film |15 June - 14 July 2020 | British Council Arts YouTube

About More Films For Freedom

Building on the success of the British Council’s Five Films for Freedom (our annual online LGBTIQ+ film programme), More Films for Freedom is a new international short film commissioning programme designed to spark creative relationships between UK filmmakers and counterparts from other countries.

More Films For Freedom programme has been commissioned by the British Council, BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival and BFI NETWORK and offers international audiences a chance to watch from their homes a selection of three distinctive and diverse queer-themed short films by Syrian, Palestinian and South African filmmakers from June to September 2020. Each film explores diverse themes including sexuality and conflict, intergenerational gay culture, migration and family ties.

Screening of  Nowhere - A young Palestinian woman crosses the Israeli border illegally to find her long-lost brother, who she hopes will be her ticket to a new life far from the West Bank. When she discovers the truth behind his exiled existence, her dreams of a happy reunion are shattered, and she must face her next steps alone. Watch the film here.

Dance | 15 June ( Monday) | 7 pm | British Council India Instagram

A Bollywood style Mujra performance by UK-based contemporary kathak dancer Raheem Payne-Mir followed by a discussion. 

@raheemmir |Raheem Payne-Mir has been training in Kathak for a number of years now and has taken it beyond the traditional realms. After completing his double masters from Royal Holloway University of London, Raheem decided to take his training in Kathak and combine it with the training he received in Contemporary Performance, he now practices both and combines gender theory, in an explorative of gender within performance and representation through the performer. He has performed in many prestigious locations, has been commissioned by Akādemi to perform at the Southbank Centre, and choreographed for Netflix.

Watch the performance here

Popular Culture | 20 June (Saturday) | 7 pm | British Council India Instagram

A talk on Gay Nightlife Culture in India by Kareem Khubchandani.

@kareempuff | Kareem Khubchandani is Mellon Bridge Assistant Professor of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Tufts University.

Give it a listen here

 

Music | 21 June (Sunday) | 5 pm | British Council India Instagram & Facebook page

On World Music Day a premiere of A Rainbow Musical, a synchronised musical performance by artists from Rainbow Voices Mumbai (RVM) 

@rvmumbai |Rainbow Voices Mumbai (RVM) is India’s first and only LGBTQ choir with 35 members from across India. It is aimed at providing a platform to showcase musical talent in the LGBTQ community in the form of an ensemble of voices. RVM has been invited to perform at several national and international platforms such as the Serendipity Arts Festival in Goa and London Pride. 

Watch the premiere here

Theatre | 27 June (Saturday) | 7 pm | British Council India Instagram & Facebook page

A short queer theatre performance of No Spring Chicken -  A university professor comes to terms with his public outing in a portrait session with an artist.

Written by Vikram Phukan @vikithephu Mumbai-based theatre practitioner |Directed by Lakshvir Singh Saran @lakshvir.saran | Produced by Theatre Jil Jil Ramamani | Performed by Satyajit Sharma & Shivam Sharma

Virtual Roundtable | 28 June (Sunday) | 5 pm | British Council India Facebook page

A discussion on LGBTIQ+ Festival Practitioners, Leaders & Artists in India and the UK moderated by Anushka Jhadav, Curator, Gaysi Family Zine Bazaar, (Mumbai) @anouk95. The Panelists are:

  • Anindya Hajra, Curator, DIALOGUES: Calcutta International LGBTIQ+ Film & Video Festival, Kolkata @anindyahajra 
  • Koninika Roy, Curator, Godrej India Culture Lab, Mumbai @bikonic
  • Nila, Member, Aravani Art Project, Chennai @aravaniartproject
  • Sharif Rangnekar, Festival Director, Rainbow Literature Festival, Delhi @sharif_rangnekar
  • Ruth McCarthy, Artistic Director, Outburst Queer Arts Festival, Belfast @ruth.ellen.mccarthy

Partner

Rafiul Alom Rahman  is the Founder and Director of The Queer Muslim Project- one of India’s first such initiatives working to address intersectional issues affecting LGBTIQ+ Muslims. He currently represents India on the Beijing+25 Global Youth Task Force, set up by UN Women to strengthen gender-responsive action and to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. 

Pages to follow: 

British Council Arts: https://www.youtube.com/user/britishartschannel

British Council India Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/inbritish

British Council India Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BritishCouncilindia

Join us on twitter/instagram using these hashtags: #PrideAtHome #MoreFilmsForFreedom #CultureConnectsUs