March 25, 8pm EST
What are some of the commonalities shared by people living within various present-day diasporas? How do diaspora community members interpret the social, spiritual and political transformations stemming from their birth places and incorporate them into the realm of their new terrains? What do the future of diasporic communities look like amidst the global crisis that has led to even more displacement and loss? Consisting of a performance and a presentation, this program will examine some of the intricacies of diasporic realities by encompassing a poetic rendition of a queer Muslim funeral and a deep dive into the rise of Hindutva politics.
The program will be followed by a Q&A with the presenters moderated by Erum Khan.
Khuda Bowad Yarat/When I Am No Longer Here: Queer Muslim Burials In Exile
Khuda Bowad Yarat/When I Am No Longer Here is a video recreation and reconciliation with queer mortality. Dr. Ahmad Qais Munhazim and Wazina Zondon propose to (re)create the elements of a (Muslim) funeral, including: the customary burial shrouds with the secrets and untold truths that they wish to make visible and say aloud now in their living; their suitcases for burial and return of items they might have borrowed from loved ones.
“Dedicated to those of us, queer, displaced, marginalized, third culture, hiding, surviving, striving and deeply desiring the traditions and rituals that give us peace of heart, but knowing they aren’t always guaranteed to us or reflect us in our true forms. May engaging offer relief of y/our exhaustions.”
Unsettling Diasporic Hindutva Politics in North America
Over the last few years, there has been a significant rise in right-wing Hindu nationalist (Hindutva) organizing in Canada and the U.S. The presentation will delve into the events that have rocked the years underneath the Trump Presidency (with a focus on 2020) across caste, religion, gender, queerness and national identities to critically reflect on the growth and hindrance of South Asian organizing in North America. The troubling rise of Hindutva forces needs to be analyzed by paying attention to the critical intersections of brahmanical caste supremacy, militarism, queer and trans pinkwashing, Islamophobia, and heteropatriarchy both in the diaspora and the homeland. The presentation will draw upon specific sites of analysis, arguing for the imminent need to disrupt and resist Hindutva forces worldwide, especially in light of the current public health crises we are all ensnared within.