Queering Poetry in Times of Strife

2024-07-13 18:11:09

Piravi Art Community

Queering Poetry in Times of Strife


June 23, 2024    
2:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Untitled, 2008 by T.N. Upendranath MAC.00043 from MAP Archives

This Pride month, MAP in collaboration with Piravi Art Community is hosting a workshop and poetry showcase as part of the programme series Redefining Queerscapes.

In times of distress and chaos, how do you find hope, support, solidarity, expression, joy and celebration? Poetry can be a resource and respite. Join us as we create a safe container to welcome our authentic expressions and support each other in claiming-reclaiming-celebrating our beautiful selves through the craft of poetry. We will invite explorations of gender, sexuality, disability, distress, grief, solidarity and more in an immersive way working with mindfulness and presence-oriented practices, writing prompts, group sharing, blackout poetry and more.

Following the workshop, we are inviting published poets from the queer community in Bangalore and the workshop participants to perform their pieces as part of Shabda – an open mic for LGBTQIA+ peeps as part of the Namma Pride events. There will be a five-minute slot for each performer. Additionally, the showcase is a free-to-participate event but requires interested poets to share their pieces with us in advance. We welcome poetry across genres and languages!

Note: This workshop is for LGBTQIA+ individuals only. The workshop is followed by a poetry showcase which is open to allies as well.

This workshop will be facilitated by Raju Behara and SG Aishwarya from Piravi Art Community. The poetry showcase will be facilitated by Rohini Malur from Shabda.

Piravi Art Community

Piravi Art Community is committed to centering queer expressions within expressive art practices. Our project aims to further queer expressive arts, amplifying the voices and connections within the storytelling and arts framework. We recognize the limited representation of queer-trans narratives in mainstream art movements and seek to change that.


Raju Behara

Raju Behara (they/she) is a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)/ MHFA certified Peer Counsellor, with a rich decade-long background in healthcare. Their poetry and stories delve into the nuanced intersection of gender, sexuality, and disability, weaving these elements with the themes of desire and mental health.

Their expressive arts practice, which includes blackout and found poetry, has been featured in various anthologies such as “Yaari” by Yoda Press, “Tilt 2.0,” and “Gaysi.” Their work has been showcased at numerous venues, including the SLSA Conference in Portsmouth, Pride Basel in 2023, and multiple forums across India.

Through the EQUAL fellowship and now with Piravi, Raju has facilitated poetry workshops for queer-trans individuals throughout India, documenting social histories and the discrimination faced in housing, healthcare, and the workplace, particularly in tier-2 cities. They led ‘Queer & Quarantine,’ a crisis intervention initiative for trans individuals grappling with housing challenges, utilizing poetry and storytelling to mitigate emotional stress.

Raju’s contributions to print include a chapter for the forthcoming edition of “Reframe,” MHI’s Mental Health Journal, which examines the decolonization of psychology through expressive arts. They have penned a chapter for the Queer Judgements Project, published by Oxford CounterPress Publications., and have upcoming chapters in MHI’s Reframe and In PlainSpeak., and are consulting for APTN on Trans Affirmative Healthcare Education.

SG Aishwarya

SG Aishwarya (She/they) is a Trauma Informed and Queer Affirmative Expressive Arts Therapist. Their work is informed by Jungian psychology and Narrative Practices. They are passionate about facilitating immersive self explorative experiences working with different Expressive arts modalities in individual and group capacities. Reading and writing poetry is one of their favorite ways of nourishing themselves.

Rohini Malur

Rohini Malur is a queer cis woman from Bangalore, India. She is a founding member of the All Sorts of Queer Group (for queer and trans persons who do not identify as cis men.) She is a poet, writer, tarot card reader, and an irrational atheist to boot. She has lived with clinical depression for more than half her life and has a lot to say about it, as well as about other things. In a utopian parallel universe where caste, patriarchy, capitalism, and the military-industrial complex do not exist, she is a starship captain. In this universe, she is still waiting for her cat to find her and sort out her life. Rohini could have written a more serious bio, but this is the one that is true.

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