The story of Ganga Survanti, a character from Hindu mythology, is rather unique. Adopted by a king, she was supposedly very beautiful. Wooed by numerous princes, she chose to turn them all down because she did not wish to marry, and lived happily ever after. Sakshi Juneja, co-founder of Gaysi Family, points out that this story does not necessarily fall within the “queer” aspect of diversity “but it could also”. And hence, the story of Ganga Survanti, along with other stories of less popular mythological figures, will feature in Gaysi’s upcoming zine. Titled For The Love Of God, the zine will release at the Zine Bazaar that Gaysi is organising in Mumbai on September 1-2.
“Being queer is a very broad thing. Anybody who doesn’t follow the set rules and norms of a heteronormative society is queer. In this space, there is the inclusion of anybody to identify as ‘queer’, which is the basis of diversity,” explains Juneja, adding that the Zine Bazaar will celebrate this very diversity.
Organised by the queer collective Gaysi Family, the theme of the inaugural edition of Zine Bazaar is “identity”. It will feature zine stalls by over 50 exhibitors, including Beatroot, Bombay Underground and Young Global Artists Collective. There will also be talks, discussions and workshops. The subjects will range from politics of aesthetics to the future of zines as well as erotica, mythology and popular culture.
“We’ve been self-publishing zines for the past five years and have seen a rapid rise in content from different parts of the country in all kinds of formats. However, not everyone has the means to promote and/or sell their content to a larger audience. A bazaar like this creates a physical space for interaction between the various parties involved,” says Juneja.
The event is being viewed as one that will push the idea of inclusion, and where the audience won’t be a passive participant. “Zine Bazaar is an open invitation to diverse communities, ranging from the zine community to the LGBT community, NGOs and other small collectives, comic enthusiasts, art and culture enthusiasts, independent publishers, authors, collectors and storytellers,” says Juneja.