Safar means journey in Hindi. It was a working title for this blog at the point of initiation back in October 2012. And its purpose: to create more visibility of British Asian lesbian, gay and bisexual communities by creating more awareness, discussion and presentation. Here’s that first post which describes the point of inspiration.
The primary strand of this project is the creation of a new theatre production about same sex love in British Asian communities. It goes by the working title, Beneath the Surface.
Another aspect to the project which has developed more opportunistically is cultural activism. This includes conference presentations, participating in panel discussions, running participatory workshops; and most recently curating a panel discussion and leading a walking group in the London Pride 2014 Parade.
Ultimately I’m interested in how we can get to a better future. I believe cultural visibility is integral to this process: through creating honest, original, complex and positive LGB/TQ representations; creating space for discussions; demystifying taboos through education and personal contact; working directly with Asian parents and communities; and by working with our straight allies.
In a relatively short period of time I have come into contact with various Asian LGB/TQ projects, groups and individuals doing important work. Some of these are in the UK, the Indian subcontinent and the wider world. There is a growing momentum of support as we push for and secure more Equality in the West and other parts of the wider world. However, we cannot become complacent; it is a case of two steps forward and one step back. Over the past few years more hostile laws and draconian measures have come into place in some parts of our world affecting our fellow sisters and brothers.
Safar is about breathing life into something largely neglected, so mostly invisible. It is about engaging with people, a ‘project community’ and taking it on a journey. It is about discovering British Asian LGB/TQ lives together; we are your lovers, partners, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, whether you know it or not.