QCC Queer LitFest Chennai 2018 Speakers
Priyababu is a writer, documentary filmmaker, theatre artist and transgender policy advocate. Writing since the early 2000’s she has published seven books, and has many awards to her credit. Priyababu has also worked on documenting lives and culture of TransWomen in Tamilnadu, and has worked with many government and non-government organisations on Trans policy advocacy. She currently lives in Madurai.
Prema Revathi is a filmmaker, activist, and educator. She started and runs Vanavil, a school for underprivileged children in Nagapattinam. Every once in a while, she also writes poetry in Tamil. It often has to be wrenched out of her to be made available to the world. She is a co-founder of the Feminist tamil publication, Maitri Books.
Dhamayanthi was born in Tirunelveli. She has worked as an RJ in a family radio station, and also directs documentaries, and writes scripts and lyrics for movies. She directed the film ‘Thadayam’ based on her own short story. She has published a novel, lnizhaliravu, and six short story collections: Akkaka Kuruvigal, Dhamayanthi Yin Sirukathaikal, Sambal Kinam, Vaaku Moolam, Murpagal Raajyam, and Oru Vannathupoochiyum Sila Maarbugalum. Her novel Vathai is forthcoming.
Amudha is an editor, co-founder of Karuppu Pirathikal, an Ambedkarite Periyarist alternative publishing house in Tamil. They have published the works of many leading writers in Tamil including Living Smile Vidya and Shoba Sakthi. Amudha is also a certified accupuncture healing practitioner.
Ragamalika Karthikeyan, is the Deputy News Editor at The News Minute. She writes about gender, sexuality and the law. She has previously worked with Times Now, NDTV-Hindu, and Deccan Chronicle. As a Legislative Assistants to Members of Parliament (LAMP) fellow, she has worked on drafting The Good Samaritan (Protection from Civil and Criminal Liabilities) and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill for Ms Kirron Kher, Member of Parliament in Lok Sabha.
Dhrubo Jyoti works with the Hindustan times in New Delhi and writes at the intersection of caste, gender and sexuality. Currently looking for love at litfests and hoping to use it for a book deal.
Vasudhendra was born at Sandur in Ballari district, Karnataka. Vasudhendra is a Kannada author and runs his own publication house, Chanda Pustaka. He is associated with local support groups for LGBT in Bengaluru. He is a trained counsellor and gives free counselling support to queer members. He has authored fifteen books in Kannada, that have sold over a lakh copies. He has won many literary awards, including the Kannada Sahitya Academy Book Prize. His book 'Mohanaswamy' chronicles the life of a young queer man. The book has been translated into English, Spanish, Telugu, Malayalam and the Tamil, Marathi, Hindi translation of Mohanaswamy is in progress.
Pavel is from Imphal and was born into a Meitei Family and currently works at Nazariya – A Queer Feminist Resource Group on issues of sexuality, diversity, inclusion and LGBTIQ concerns with a key focus on LBT perspective. He has worked as a developmental practitioner in New Delhi in the field of women's right and engaging men and boys for gender justice. He is the co-founder and is associated with The Chinky Homo Project, an initiative to build an archive of digital and print based anthologies of queer narratives from NorthEast India.
Kumam Davidson is an independent journalist and a social media advocate for gender justice, he tries to fuse liberal, feminist and queer thoughts in his writings. His involvement in the LGBTQAID+ movement led to the co-creation of The Chinky Homo Project that works towards archiving digital and print anthology of queer narratives from northeast India. In 2016, he founded the travel and horticulture community called Thefloretstore
(will be joining virtually)
Nadika is a writer and researcher with interests in history and archaeology, city and urban spaces, gender, and the Internet. She is currently based in Bangalore.
Panimalar Panneerselvam is a journalist and newsreader from Coimbatore and has worked in leading TV news channels. She currently works with News7 TV channel in Chennai. She produces and hosts programs like Phoenix manithargal, which highlights the works of people who render pioneering changes to the society. She is a Periyarist and feminist, and is vocal about issues related caste and gender.
Mankuthirai, is an engineering graduate, Poet and writer, now works with Tamil The Hindu daily. He started writing poetry during the early 2000s and has published original and translated poetry collections. He has won ‘Rajamarthandan Award’ for his poetry collection ‘Pudhiya Araiyin Siththiram’. He also writes poetry criticism, about cinema and short stories.
(reading of keynote from Living Smile Vidya)
Living Smile Vidya
Living Smile Vidya is a theatre artist, poet, writer and a transgender rights activist. She is the founder and director of Panmai theatre. The Kannada film “Naan Avanalla Avalu” which is based on her biography is a National Award winner, and Living Smile Vidya won Karnataka State Film Award for best story for the film. She was also chosen as one of the 50 noticeable persons by Anandha Vikatan in the year 2016.
Moderator, Presenter and Coordinator
Senthil is a designer by profession and Artist in essence, graduated from IIT-Guwahati. His final year thesis was on LGBTQ+ at workplace and establishing a safe space at work. A Mythology and Folklore nerd. He has been volunteering and involved LGBTQ+ movement from 2010. Avid reader of Children, Rational and Queer literature.
Shilpa is a medical graduate interested in the intricacies and politics of a/sexuality and gender. She envisions a future with affirming and accessible healthcare for Queer people, especially in the public sector
Programme Director and Host
Gireesh is an illustrator and writer based in Chennai. He currently works in the advertising industry. Prior to entering the advertising world he worked as Assistant Art Director in the Tamil film industry. In addition to his main profession, he associated as a consultant with non-government organisations in Chennai that worked for the welfare of LGBTQ individuals. He was selected as one of the change maker in leading Tamil weekly Anandha Vikatan’s Kalamin Kaladichuvatil...Kalathil 100 Ilaingargal project in 2015. Vidupattavai (Leftouts), his first book was published in January 2018 and was released in the 41st Chennai Book Fair.
Suresh Ramdas is currently the Global Training Lead. He heads the Pride Business Impact Network Chapter for HP India as an out gay man which he started in 2016. His passion for making his workplace more LGBT inclusive & have a broader understanding of the D&I spectrum motivated him to attend and is now is a Certified Diversity Professional, by DTUI, USA in collaboration with Interweave, India. Along with that he is the first Indian to be nominated and represent HP at the Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, Global Fellowship Program.
Nivedha is a curator in a publishing house. She is a physics enthusiast.
Krishna is a Chennai based educator who works with government schools.
Festival Director and Curator
Moulee is a gay rights activist based in Chennai. He is the founder of Queer Chennai Chronicles. He is a writer and Diversity & Inclusion professional with focus on LGBTQ+ inclusion in workplace. Currently he is on a mission to chronicle the contemporary queer history of Chennai.
LJ Violet is a Tamil writer, translator and co-founder of Queer Chennai Chronicles. Her short story collection 'Ootha Skirt Kathaigal' was published by Mowgli publications in 2017. A novel 'Gunter's winter' was published in her translation in Tamil by Kalachuvadu Publications. She lives in an unwritten novel, and edits for a living.