Ahmedabad is set to host the state’s first queer conference, ‘Sambandh: The West Zone Queer Conference’ on February 16 to 18. Organised by QueerAbad, Ahmedabad’s queer-ally support group, the conference will include presentation of papers on topics like ‘How queer is queer enough’, ‘Maharanis with a pink mirror: Gulabi Aaina and the LGBT struggle in India’.
Shamini Kothari, convenor of the conference and co-founder of QueerAbad said, “The response for the workshop has been immense. We are expecting many walk-in registrations as well. Our main aim is to take these conversations to another level and look at queer issues academically.”
The conference, being held at the Darpana Academy of Performing Arts, will end with a Queer Pride Parade and a Queer Mela. The parade will start from the Kanoria Centre for Arts and end at Darpana Academy of Performing Arts in Usmanpura.
“The mela is a place where people can meet each other after the parade. It will showcase works by queer artists and organisations. We are also organising an open mike event on the evening of February 17, in which there will be stand-up performances, poems, monologues and possibly some singing and dancing by members of the community,” said Kothari. Brinda Bose, associate professor, Centre for English Studies at JNU will deliver the key note address at the workshop and social anthropologist, activist Akshay Khanna will chair the plenary session.