Queer Migration and Intersectional Activism: Panel Discussion and Q&A

Wednesday 24 February, 7.30-8.30pm

Councillor Dr Rohit K Dasgupta, Commissioner for Social Integration and Equalities, will chair a panel discussion and host an audience Q&A on queer migration and intersectional activism.


Councillor Dr Rohit K Dasgupta, Chair

Dr Churnjeet Mahn, University of Strathclyde, is a Reader in English at the University of Strathclyde and a fellow of the Young Academy of Scotland (Royal Society of Edinburgh). Churnjeet’s work focuses on the intersection of race and sexuality in the history and practice of travel. This includes work on travel writing, literary representations of migration, and border crossings. She has worked on community-based research projects in South Asia and the UK, including with queer refugees, displaced migrants, and queer and South Asian diasporas. She is currently working with Dr Rohit Dasgupta on a British Academy project called Cross Border Queers: The Story of South Asian Migrants in the UK.

Dr Lukasz Szulc, University of Sheffield, is a Lecturer in Digital Media and Society in the Department of Sociological Studies at the University of Sheffield and co-chair of the LGBTQ Studies Interest Group in the International Communication Association. His interests include cultural and critical studies of media and identity at the intersections of gender, sexuality and transnationalism. Lukasz has recently published the report Queer #PolesinUK: Identity, Migration and Social Media (2019) and the book Transnational Homosexuals in Communist Poland: Cross-Border Flows in Gay and Lesbian Magazines (2018). He has published articles in such journals as New Media & Society, Social Media + Society and Sexualities. He tweets @LukaszSzulc.  Dr Kumud Rana, University of Glasgow, her interests and expertise include feminist and queer studies, gender and development, identity politics and social movements.  She is based at The School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Glasgow.

Dr Kumud Rana has a PhD in Sociology from the University of Glasgow, School of Social and Political Sciences. Her doctoral study titled ‘Transnational Resources and LGBTI+ Activism in Nepal’ focuses on the interactions between transnational activist networks and development donors that have helped shape LGBTI+ organising in the country. Her interests include critical development studies, feminist and queer studies, sexuality and globalisation, identity politics and social movements.

Dr Sunil Gupta, University of the Creative Arts, is a Canadian citizen, MA (Royal College of Art) PhD (University of Westminster) who has been involved with independent photography as a critical practice for many years focusing on race, migration and queer issues. In the 1980s, Gupta constructed documentary images of gay men in architectural spaces in Delhi, his “Exiles” series. The images and texts describe the conditions for gay men in India at the times. Gupta’s recent series “Mr. Malhotra’s Party” updates this theme during a time in which queer identities are more open and also reside in virtual space on the internet and in private parties. His early documentary series “Christopher Street” was shot in the mid-1970s as Gupta studied under Lisette Model at the New School for Social Research and became interested in the idea of gay public space.  Gupta’s published work includes the monographs: Queer: Sunil Gupta (Prestel/Vadehra Art Gallery, 2011), Wish You Were Here: Memories of a Gay Life (Yoda Press, New Delhi, 2008), and Pictures From Here (Chris Boot Ltd., New York, 2003).  He exhibited (with Charan Singh), “Dissent and Desire” (catalogue) is at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston 2018 which was accompanied by the book, Delhi: Communities of Belonging, The New Press, New York 2016. His last publication was Christopher Street, Stanley Barker 2018 and his forthcoming publications are Lovers: Ten Years On, Stanley Barker 2020 and Sunil Gupta: From Here to Eternity, Autograph 2020. His work has been seen in many important group shows including “Paris, Bombay, Delhi…” at the Pompidou Centre, Paris 2011 and “Masculinities” at Barbican, London 2020. His retrospective takes place at The Photographers’ Gallery, London (2020) and Ryerson Image Center, Toronto 2021. He is a Professorial Fellow at UCA, Farnham, Visiting Lecturer at Kingston University and Visiting Tutor at the Royal College of Art, London. He was Lead Curator for the Houston Fotofest 2018. His work is in many private and public collections including; George Eastman House (Rochester, USA), Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Royal Ontario Museum, Tate, Harvard University and the Museum of Modern Art. His work is represented by Hales Gallery (New York, London), Stephen Bulger Gallery (Toronto) and Vadehra Art Gallery (New Delhi).

Raisa Kabir lives and works in London, UK. Kabir is an interdisciplinary artist and weaver, who utilises woven text/textiles, sound, video and performance to translate and visualise concepts concerning the cultural politics of cloth, labour and embodied geographies. Kabir addresses cultural anxieties surrounding nationhood, textile identities and the cultivation of borders; as well as examining the encoded violence in histories of labour in globalised neo-colonial textile production.

Her (un)weaving performances comment on power, production, disability and the body as a living archive of collective trauma, where she builds looms with her own body and others. Kabir’s practice currently looks at the weaving processes of gesture, repetition, tension and production, and what it might mean to resist ideas of bodily production, functionality, and capability. Through using weaving as a methodology for resistance, Kabir’s work situates the intensive labour processes of textile production within gallery spaces to highlight the erasure of artist labour within these systems and networks.

Kabir has participated in residencies and exhibited work internationally at The Whitworth, The Tetley, Raven Row, Cove Park, Textile Arts Center NYC, and the Center for Craft Creativity and Design U.S. Kabir has lectured on her research on South Asian textile cultures at Tate Modern, ICA, London College of Fashion, The Courtauld, The Royal College of Art, Manchester School of Art and Edinburgh College of Art.  Group exhibitions include: 2020 Between Cloth and Skin – Compton Verney Art Gallery, UK 2019 ‘Two Loom Cloth’ – Weave It! Stour Space, London 2019 Art In Manufacturing, British Textile Biennial, Queen Street Mill Textile Museum, Burnley 2019 ‘নীল. Nil. Nargis. Blue. Bring in the tide with your moon…’ Performance video, Cove Park, Scotland 2018 ‘Build me a loom off of your back and your stomach’ Textiles and Place, Whitworth Gallery, Manchester 2017 ‘The Body is a site of Production…’ 10 hour performance installation, The Tetley, Leeds 2017 Textile Art Center, NYC, New York, U.S (Solo showcase) 2017 ‘You and I are more alike…’ weaving performance 56 Artillery Lane – Raven Row, London 2017 Beyond Borders, South Asian Textiles exhibition, Tapestry ‘It must be nice to fall in love…’ Whitworth Gallery, Manchester 2016 ‘Warping the borders, fringes; fractured…’ (Performance and video) Whitworth Gallery, Manchester 2016 Warped – An exhibition on Sound and Weaving, Center for Craft, Creativity and Design, North Carolina, U.S 2015 South Asian Futures, Menier Gallery, London 2015 Asymmetric Grief, Arcadia Missa gallery, London 2014 Rites and Rituals, weaving performance, INIVA, London 2014 (in)visible space: queer dimensionality, space and affect – 2014 London Rich Mix Gallery (Solo show) For more information visit: www.raisakabir.com

Discover more

Newham LGBT+ History Month has lots more to offer, take a look at the full line-up of events