|Jennifer Josef, ILGA-ASIA|
|Jennifer Josef, ILGA-ASIA|
Sappho for Equality is organizing a conference titled Gender-Sexuality: Exploring the Conjoined Possibilities to be held between September 13 and 15, 2013 at Vivekananda Hall, Jadavpur University, Kolkata.
For the last 14 years, from 1999 to 2013, Sappho for Equality is working for the rights and social justice of persons with non-normative gender-sexual orientations. Within this broad spectrum we have taken up issues of lesbians, bisexual women and transmen, i.e female to male transpersons to work as specific agenda of the organization. But Sappho for Equality as an open forum also provides space to persons belonging to any gender-sexual identity to join us and raise voice against the collective workings of hetero-patriarchy, homophobia, and otherization on the basis of non-normative gender-sexual orientation.
So we traverse between broad to specific and specific to broad, all the time. In this journey we also traverse between gender and genders, sexuality and sexualities, cross cutting each other, working with each other, challenging each other and changing each other. At one point in our life of organizational activism, we realized these terms to be inseparable for our understanding of either gender or sexuality. Gender and sexuality from that point onward (from 2006, after the 7th National Conference of the Autonomous Women's Movements when we tried to question and challenge the very idea of womanhood as a biological identity) came to us as a conjoined term gender-sexuality, and we tried to introduce this idea to the gender rights and women's rights organizations to understand and intervene against
patriarchy. Patriarchy became hetero-patriarchy from that point in time for us.
Today, gender & sexuality are accepted as complimentary notions by academics and to some extent activists. We want to further delve deep into these notions, and bring out the fruits of this conjunction for further use. As an activist forum we need to see how the conjoined notion helps us in our movement for social justice, and we feel it is important to work more concertedly on this notion by conceptualizing, expanding, voicing, representing, contextualizing, searching and performing gender-sexuality.
The sub themes for this conference sprout out of these needs. They are:
1. Conceptualizing Gender-Sexuality - theorizing/defining the notion
2. Expanding the scope of Gender-Sexuality - experimenting with the notion to open newer possibilities
3. Voicing Gender-Sexuality lived experience sharing, anecdotal narratives of individuals or organizations
4. Representing Gender-Sexuality - depiction of the notion in different creative forms like film, books, plays, poetry, media etc.
5. Contextualizing Gender-Sexuality in Social Justice Movement - how and whether the social justice movement has worked with the notion
6. Searching for the Margin of Margins - finding out what is the furthest margin of the notion and why it is the furthest
7. Performing Gender-Sexuality - performing and queering the performance exploring the notion
We are, therefore, inviting abstracts from young and senior students, research scholars and teachers, development architects, activists and thought leaders on any of these sub themes, which should reach us on or before 5th July 2013 at firstname.lastname@example.org. The abstract should be in English, within 500 words. There is no registration fee for participation. Outstation participants will be provided with AC 3-tier train fare and accommodation on twin sharing basis. We will communicate with authors of selected abstracts by 15th July 2013 and will expect the fully developed papers to reach us by 15th August 2013.