Read Nevin Sulthan’s story in her own words.

Photo credits: Nevin Sulthan

The first time I heard about Female Genital Cutting (FGC), I was preparing for my sociology examination. I was reading about the UN cycle of violence against women.

I told my mother that this happens to the girls in Africa, and her reaction was more shocking than I could have ever imagined!

She said FGC had happened to her, as well as me.

Sensing my horror, she just laid back, acted as if she was hearing something very ordinary! I was furious.

She told me when I was 40 days old, women…

A screenshot from MadHeart Talks video by the name “It’s ok to be not Okay”
A screenshot from MadHeart Talks video by the name “It’s ok to be not Okay”
MadHeart Talks video titled ‘It's OK, to NOT be okay’.

It’s been a lot lately. Between December and now, I have changed three countries and five homes. But that’s just me.

For all of us, there is a lot of uncertainty by way of an unseen enemy — COVID–19. Some of us had to leave our temporary residence, some of us are unable to return to our permanent abodes.

But I want to start this continuum personally — as an Indian from Delhi. February 2020 something died in me as my city witnessed communal violence- 20 km give or take from our comfortable homes. …

Illustration by @Anriban_Ghosh

The re-election of the rightwing, populist party, BJP in May 2019 and it’s pro-Hindutva agenda has been a nightmare for many secular Indians. The situation hit another low as students and universities came under fundamentalist attacks in December 2019 in the capital, Delhi.

The current political situation in India has forced an average Indian youth to sit-up and take notice. Many are feeling helpless, angry, and disillusioned. Many of us find comfort in creating a community through peaceful protest on the streets, expressing ourselves in safe circles, and even through social media exchanges of similar ideologies.

Today we challenged and dejected, but also charged for creating a conversation and taking a stand- creatively.

This needs your attention.

We the people of India reject CAA+ NPR+ NRC. PC @SanaKhan
We the people of India reject CAA+ NPR+ NRC. PC @SanaKhan
“We the people of India reject CAA, NPR, NRC” Photo by Sana Khan.

My parents are worried sick.

They are convinced that my social media posts are an imminent threat to my safety and theirs. I know my silence is a threat to my conscience and my country.

The irony is that I even don’t live in India. Yet the fear of social media vigilantism, government watchdogs is just as real.

We are now officially a country that doesn’t tolerate dissent of any form.

When did this happen? Hard to say without mentioning the right-wing government which is currently in power- Bhartiya Janta Party or the BJP, led by…

without talking about Caste in India. The correlation films like ‘Article 15’ are trying to make.

Photograph By Ruhani Kaur

‘Why is there a rape problem in your country?’

This question is perhaps the most frequently asked question that I have encountered while working outside India as a feminist documentary filmmaker. And each time someone asks me this question, I am sure that I am doing an incomplete job of attempting to answer it.

So here’s another attempt, without drawing out my staple ‘It’s complicated.’

A few years back, I found myself sitting in a small room, which was full of more papers, reports, and books than there was space to sit.

It…

*Ka-poww!* We finally have a fun, sexy, totally chill show on two gal-pals, who are, by the way, birds.

Image copyright: Netflix

‘Crunts’

And I am rolling with laughter in my sleep.

‘He makes the best crunts’

Oh lord, stop!

If you haven’t tuned into Netflix to watch ‘Tuca and Bertie, now is the time.

I am always running out of things to watch on Netflix and if you’re anything like me, you are probably also forever looking for something on a lighter vein.

Tuca and Bertie comes up as a breath of fresh air.

Tuca, a boisterous, confident gal go-getter of Birdtown…

one of the most crucial things I have learned in Berlin.

Die Unteilbar demonstration at Alexanderplatz, Berlin 2018

Recently, the world witnessed one of the biggest human demonstrations in history – about 2 Million residents of Hong Kong gathered to protest against the Extradition Bill, making the power of people felt in history once again.

This win for Hong Kong, a city that I know as ‘home’ for a few years now, got me thinking about the struggle of Indian independence from the British when roughly about 1% of the Indian population have said to have participated and protested from 1942– 1947. …

Where ‘M’ stands for ‘Muslim’ and ‘C’ stands for ‘Control’.

A Still from the Vice News video

Recently, VICE News US published a video with several women/activists speaking about their experience of undergoing Female Genital Cutting/Mutilation (FGC/M).

The video features women sharing their own stories and a must watch for those who want to understand the subject as a social norm. However, one of the most crucial things said in the video is about sexual control.

As said by FGC/M activist F.A Cole ,

‘FGC/M NOT a Muslim thing, it’s a ‘C ‘thing, where C is CONTROL’

Her statement perfectly underscores one of the most widespread assumptions about FGC/M.

‘Female Genital Cutting/Mutilation is prevalent in ONLY Muslim communities. It’s a Muslim problem.’ is something that I have heard more number of times than I count. …

Photo by Jeswin Thomas

Dear You,

I am about to confess something that has played on my mind over the course of 13 long years our friendship.

I have always wondered about the stirring feeling I have, when I see you with other people.

Could it be discomfort? If so, why?

First things first though. Although my Frida Kahlo worshipping persona would have desired otherwise, when it comes to my own, I am a heterosexual woman. So me being a jealous lover for you (another woman), while watching you with others, was probably not my trigger.

Is it something you did differently then?

Probably.

Photo by Miguel Bruna on Unsplash

To be entirely honest I am trying to figure out an answer to this myself.

I have spent my entire 20s from 22 onwards, trying to build a movement against a social norm which can be classified as Gender-based violence.

I would be lying if I said, I didn’t have my phases or days when it completely felt futile, as if I am/we are speaking to deaf ears.

More challengingly, the ‘feminism industry’, if one can call it that, is mildly disturbing. …

Priya Goswami

Filmmaker l Co-founder of a transnational feminist collective, @sahiyovoices l German Chancellor Fellow @AvHStiftung

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