INTERVIEWS 




ARUNA CHANDRASEKHAR

CLIMATE CHANGE, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM, COASTAL DISPLACEMENT, DIASPORIC DISTANCE, POWER, PARACHUTING, FOREST COLLECTIVE, COVID, FREELANCING, HEALTH WORKERS, MINING.

Aruna Chandrasekhar is an independent journalist and a writer from India, currently at the University of Oxford. Her interests in work dwell on themes of corporate accountability, climate change, indigenous rights and resistance, environmental law, energy, conflict, gender and public health. Her stories have appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, New Internationalist, BuzzFeed, and many other outlets.



PARTHA MITTER


Partha Mitter is an Emeritus Professor at Sussex University, a Member at Wolfson College, Oxford, and an Honorary Fellow at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. He’s held fellowships from Churchill College and Clare Hall, Cambridge, the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, the Getty Research Institute, and others. He was a Radhakrishnan Memorial Lecturer at All Souls College, Oxford. His books include Much Maligned Monsters: History of European Reactions to Indian Art, The Triumph of Modernism: India’s Artists and the Avant-Garde 1922-1947, and others. He works with the Bauhaus Foundation in Berlin and Dessau.



NIDA KIRMANI


Nida Kirmani is Associate Professor of Sociology in the Mushtaq Ahmad Gurmani School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Lahore University of Management Sciences. She is also Faculty Director of the Saida Waheed Gender Initiative. Nida has published widely on issues related to gender, Islam, women’s movements, development and urban studies in India and Pakistan. She completed her PhD in 2007 from the University of Manchester in Sociology. Her book, Questioning the ‘Muslim Woman’: Identity and Insecurity in an Urban Indian Locality, was published in 2013 by Routledge. Her current research focuses on urban violence, gender and insecurity in the area of Lyari in Karachi.



CHANDRAMOHAN S


VERNACULAR LANGUAGE LITERATURE, INTERNATIONALIST SOLIDARITY, DALIT-BLACK SOLIDARITIES, O.V. VIJAYAN, DALIT LITERATURE, AJAY NAVARIA, MAULANA RUMI, LOVE AFTER BABEL, AVANT-GARDE AND FORM, DEEPAK UNNIKRISHNAN 

Chandramohan S is a Dalit Indian poet, short story writer and social activist based in Thiruvandanapuram, Kerala. Chandramohan is a member of the P.K. Rosi Foundation, a cultural collective that seeks to demarginalise Dalit-Bahujans. His poetry collections Warscape Verses and Letters to Namdeo Dhasal, were shortlisted for the Srinivas Rayaprol Poetry Prize and the Harish Govind Memorial Prize, and his collection Love After Babel was recently published by Daraja Press. In 2016 Outlook Magazine listed him as Dalit Achiever of the Year.



MANAN AHMED


Manan Ahmed is an Associate Professor of History at Columbia University. He is a historian of South Asia and the littoral western Indian Ocean world from 1000-1800 CE. His areas of specialization include intellectual history in South and Southeast Asia; critical philosophy of history, colonial and anti-colonial thought. His forthcoming book is The Loss of Hindustan: The Invention of India. He is also the co-founder of the Group for Experimental Methods in Humanistic Research, which focuses on “mobilized humanities” and innovations in scholarly methodologies.



JENNY BHATT


Jenny Bhatt is a writer, literary translator, and literary critic. She is the host of the Desi Books podcast. Her short story collection, Each of Us Killers, will be out on Sep 8, 2020, with 7.13 Books. Her literary translation of Gujarati short story writer Dhumketu’s best short fiction will be out in late-2020. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in various venues in the US, UK, and India, including The Atlantic, NPR, BBC, Washington Post, Literary Hub, Longreads, Poets & Writers, Scroll.in, and more. Her fiction has been nominated for Pushcart Prizes and the 2017 Best American Short Stories. She was a finalist for the 2017 Best of the Net Anthology. Having lived and worked her way around India, England, Germany, Scotland, and various parts of the US, she now lives in a suburb of Dallas, Texas.



MEENA KANDASAMY


Meena Kandasamy is an East London-based sociolinguist, poet, translator, and novelist whose writing portrays and embodies the Indian subcontinent’s many struggles for social justice. Her debut collection of poems, Touch (2006) was themed around caste and untouchability, and her second, Ms Militancy (2010) was an explosive, feminist retelling/reclaiming of Tamil and Hindu myths. Her critically acclaimed first (anti)novel, The Gypsy Goddess, (2014) smudged the line between powerful fiction and fearsome critique in narrating the 1968 massacre of forty-four landless untouchable men, women and children striking for higher wages in Tamil Nadu. Her second novel, a work of auto-fiction, When I Hit You: Or, The Portrait of the Writer As A Young Wife (2017) drew upon her own experience within an abusive marriage to lift the veil on the silence that surrounds domestic violence and marital rape in modern India. It was selected as book of the year by The Guardian, The Observer, Daily Telegraph and Financial Times; and was shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2018 among others. Her third novel, Exquisite Cadavers, a work of experimental fiction was published in the UK in November 2019, and is forthcoming in the US in November 2020. 



ALADDIN ULLAH


BANGLADESH & SOUTH ASIA, STAND-UP COMEDY, SOUTH ASIAN THEATER, AVIJIT ROY, WORKING-CLASS, DIASPORIC STORIES, AUGUST WILSON, AMIRI BARAKA, BENGALI HARLEM, DISHWASHER DREAMS, MEL WATKINS, LORRAINE HANSBERRY.  

Aladdin Ullah is a playwright, comedian, and performer based in New York City. He is a pioneer of the past decade as one of the very first South Asians to perform stand-up comedy on national television on networks such as: HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, BET, and PBS. He was the co-founder and host of the multi-ethnic stand-up show Colorblind, a member of Joseph Papp's Public Theater's Inaugural Emerging Writers group where he wrote and developed Indio during the Spotlight Series and workshops at Joe's Pub. He was also a part of the New York Theater Workshop Residency at Dartmouth, and Halal Brothers directed by Liesel Tommy (The Labyrinth's Barn Series at Public Theater). Aladdin has had staged readings/workshops of his plays at New York Theater Workshop, Cape Cod Theater Project, Classical Theater of Harlem, Lark Play Development Center, Shakespeare in Paradise Festival (Bahamas) Labyrinth, and 1 Solo Festival. His acting career includes American Desi, and the award-winning animated film Sita Sings The Blues. Aladdin is a Recipient of the Paul Robeson development grant to produce a documentary called In search of Bengali Harlem, which inspired the recent book Bengali Harlem by Vivek Bald. His most recent play is Dishwasher Dreams, a one-man show drawn from the story of his father’s migration from Noakhali, East Bengal, to New York City.



SUDIPTO MONDAL


Sudipto Mondal is a Bangalore-based investigative journalist who reports on caste, communalism and corruption. A graduate of the Asian College of Journalism, he was a former reporter with The Hindu, and the Dalit Camera. Currently he is writing a book on the death of the Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula and the 25-year history of the organisation to which he belonged, the Ambedkar Students' Association (ASA). His reporting has appeared in The New York Times, Al-Jazeera, The Hindu, The Print, Hindustan Times, and many other outlets.



FIZA PIRANI


Fiza Pirani is an independent journalist, writer and editor based in Atlanta, Georgia. She's also the founder of the award-winning immigrant mental health newsletter Foreign Bodies, born in 2018 from a reporting fellowship with The Carter Center. Her interests in writing and journalism largely center themes of mental health and radical vulnerability, of living within manmade borders and the search for footing in an ever-changing world. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, Teen Vogue, Electric Literature, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution among several others.



HANA SHAFI


QUEERNESS, SMALL, BROKE, AND KIND OF DIRTY, CENTERING THE SILLY, FRIZZ KID ART, THE VALUE OF HUMOR, AFFIRMATION ART SERIES,STANDARDS OF SUCCESS, BODY POLITICS, POLITICS & ART, KINDNESS AS POLITICS, VULNERABILITY.  

Hana Shafi is a National Magazine Award nominated artist, writer, journalist from Toronto, who illustrates under the name Frizz Kid. Both her art and writing explore themes of feminism, body politics, racism, and pop culture. A graduate of Ryerson’s journalism program, she has published and been featured in Hazlitt, This Magazine, Torontoist, Huffington Post and others. Her latest book, Small, Broke, and Kind of Dirty, will be out Sep 22nd, 2020, with Book Hug Press.