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Can our personal stories be separated from the social and the political of the society that we live in? No, say the authors and editors of Write in Power, an inclusive anthology of fiction, non fiction, poetry and artwork.
A commitment to a dream that became the gateway to a transformative read, Write in Power: An Anthology of the Personal and the Political is a step towards inclusive social justice.
What happens when a desire to work for a cause takes root in the hearts of a group of women? And the seed is nurtured by them in the unlikely environs of social media? They create a narrative that delves deep into both, the personal and the political, and their intersection.
Can the sense of purpose, commitment to a movement, and collective efforts of these women flower into both a powerful book and a contribution to a cause they believe in and work for? Yes, to both.
The book Write in Power: An Anthology of the Personal and the Political is testimony to this. As is the solidarity of the group with the Haadibaadi Movement.
The elegant yet powerful cover sets the tone for this carefully curated and edited anthology, which is a dedication to those who struggle to find their voice. A collection of 36 works of poetry, essays, fiction, and art might seem to be eclectic, but with a unifying theme of the intersections of the personal and the political, it all comes together perfectly.
Available in both print and e-versions, the book is a contemplative read. As the book finds its way into the world, it becomes relevant to chronicle its journey so far.
Last year, one of the book’s editors Vijaylakshmi Harish floated an idea in a Facebook post, about sharing stories to raise money for a worthy cause. This idea found resonance with Anushree K S, Rohini Malur, Vijayshanthi Murthy, and, Meenal Srivastava, who brought their distinctive experiences to the group as editors.
The team sent out calls for creative submissions that would explore the overarching, and unifying theme of the anthology, The Personal is the Political.
Recognizing diversity and inclusion as cornerstones of social justice, submissions from cis and trans women, non-binary and genderqueer folks, and trans men were encouraged. As were voices from traditionally marginalized communities of South Asian origin, such as Dalit, Bahujan, and Adivasi communities; minority religions; the LGBTQIA+ community; and persons with disabilities.
Thought-provoking and engaging prompts like ‘unlearning’, ‘identity(ies)’, ‘space and the self’, ‘disobedience’, ‘on the brink, ‘comfort and joy’, and, ‘stepping outside your comfort zone added to the depth and scope of the submissions received. The contributions were not limited to prose, and the book benefits from the richness of diversity in expression.
Many authors and artists have delved deep to write personal essays or to share their own experiences. Other contributors have used vivid and bold artwork, subtle and poignant poetry, or harnessed the power of fictional storytelling.
The contributors bring forth their individual, and collective, personal experiences. But, can the personal ever be distinct from what is around us? Be independent of the social, the political, the society that we live in?
The personal and the political are deeply and inseparably enmeshed with each other. In today’s times, it is increasingly important to understand these intersections, and where we stand in the face of them. It is this introspection that is the basis of a truly inclusive world. And this is the introspection that this anthology asks from the reader.
The book is a very important, relevant, and compelling read. In the times we live in, creating a space for discussion and change is as much a necessity as it can be a challenge. And this is exactly what this book sets out to do.
The cause that the team identified was the Haadibaadi trust, a movement for social and economic justice.
Haadibadi is a non-profit organization that trains and empowers children and young adults from the underprivileged sections at the periphery of our societies. Already disadvantaged due to inaccessibility of resources, they have suffered deeply as a result of the pandemic.
The proceeds from the sales will go directly to the Haadibaadi Community Library. Located in Bangalore, the library for children provides a safe space for unrestricted access to books, education, learning, creative thinking, expression, and fun. Haadibaadi is also leading the movement for publicly-owned free libraries to provide accessible opportunities and technology. It is working towards creating a society where knowledge and learning are available to all without caste, gender, class, or any other oppressive or discriminatory barriers.
The creators of this book would like to hear what you have to say about it. Published by the Haadibaadi Trust.
Image source: shutterstock and Pothi.com
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Shalini is the author of "Stars from the Borderless Sea", a collection of three novella length stories that explore different nuances of love.
She is a practicing doctor with more than 20 years of experience read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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If you want to get back to work after a break, here’s the ultimate guide to return to work programs in India from tech, finance or health sectors - for women just like you!
Last week, I was having a conversation with a friend related to personal financial planning and she shared how she had had fleeting thoughts about joining work but she was apprehensive to take the plunge. She was unaware of return to work programs available in India.
She had taken a 3-year long career break due to child care and the disconnect from the job arena that she spoke about is something several women in the same situation will relate to.
More often than not, women take a break from their careers to devote time to their kids because we still do not have a strong eco-system in place that can support new mothers, even though things are gradually changing on this front.
A married woman has to wear a sari, sindoor, mangalsutra, bangles, anklets, and so much more. What do these ornaments have to do with my love, respect, and commitment to my husband?
They: Are you married?
They: But You don’t look like it
Me: (in my Mind) Why should I?
Why is being married not enough for a woman, and she needs to look married too? I am tired of such comments in the nearly four years of being married.
I believe that anything that is forced is not right. I must have a choice. I am a living human, not a puppet. And I am not stopping anyone by not following any tradition. You are free to do whatever you like to do. But do not force others. It’s depressing.