TWMAIRL – AAA Radio: “Queer Bangladesh”
AAA Radio: “Queer Bangladesh” by Little Boxes, Rajani Raoja, Anirban Ahmed, Sumugan Sivanesan
Recorded in June 2020, Queer Bangladesh presents a conversation with three prominent activists based in Dhaka; Little Boxes, Rajani Raoja and Anirban Ahmed. The conversation spans the recent and lesser known histories of LGBTI people in Bangladesh who are marginalised and persecuted by conservative Islam and the law. Representative of different generations of (creative) activists, LB, RR and AA are currently busy preparing a graphic anthology and oral history of the queer community in Bangladesh.
Little Boxes is queer rights activist in Bangladesh. LB started working for the oldest and the largest self-identified queer network since 2007. LB takes a deep interest in sexuality politics, the intersectionality of causes, and social justice. They have curated several queer art projects and films to embrace diversity through interdisciplinary art in Bangladesh. They were nominated as an inspiring individual for promoting freedom and equality by fiveFilms4freedom in 2016 Global List. In 2017, they were awarded for International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Currently LB is preparing to launch a graphic anthology concerning the oral history of the queer community in Bangladesh. They hold a master’s in Social Work and in addition to queer rights activism, they work as a training associate in an emotional support helpline. In their spare time, they enjoy drawing, hiking, and street photography.
Rajani Raoja is an interdisciplinary artist, author and journalist based in Bangladesh. As a queer rights activist, RR started working in Dhaka’s network in 2015. RR takes a deep interest in contemporary art and activism, queer theory, gender-based discrimination, post-traumatic stress disorder, impacts of religious fundamentalism, social justice and rights based issues. They run an open platform named ‘Tehai: An Interdisciplinary Art Initiative’ that embodies a crossover between several disciplines including performance, theatre, music, dance, film and literature.
Anirban Ahmed is a Bangladeshi queer activist. He edits a regular queer magazine ‘Thahor’, first published on July 5, 2020. Anirban was a founding member ‘Mondro’, the largest queer archive and cultural organization in Bangladesh. Anirban’s interest include queer ecology, history, popular science and anthropology.
Sumugan Sivanesan is an artistic-researcher and writer based in Berlin. Often working collaboratively his interests span migrant histories and minority politics, activist media, artist infrastructures and more-than-human rights.