QAMRA – Queer Archive for Memory, Reflection and Activism (Bangalore, India) is an archival project chronicling the genesis and growth of the rights of sexuality and gender minorities in India. The collection includes video and audio footage leading up to the ongoing movement for the decriminalization of homosexuality and the legal challenge to the law in question – section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.
The archive’s material ranges from full documentaries to video documentation of protests, marches, parades, and interviews, from newspaper, journal, and magazine snippets to objects such as masks, flags, and costumes used during struggles for rights and ceremonies of celebrations. Through the archiving process we unearth, salvage, store, and document the lives and the struggles of individuals as well as of the larger gender and sexual minority community, so that the archive – while maintaining records of social, legal, and political change through society and government – can itself become a tool for social activism and advocacy. We aim to further the discussion on how images intersect with the law on the level of evidence and advocacy, highlighting the critical visual skills needed to assess the legal value of a wide range of visual media. We will reflect on the relationship between the campaign to decriminalize homosexuality in India, especially the legal challenge before the Indian courts, and the significance of archiving this material. What are the specific challenges of archiving an ongoing legal process, where the material feeds back into creating narrative, and a texture of evidence that will help make the case for a visual jurisprudence towards decriminalization and positive legal recognition for the LGBTI community? (QAMRA)
T. Jayashree is founder of QAMRA. She is a writer, producer and director, focusing on the intersections of gender, sexuality, law, and public health.
Siddharth Narrain teaches at the School of Law, Governance and Citizenship, Ambedkar University Delhi, is Honorary Visiting Fellow at The Sarai Programme, CSDS, Delhi, and is part of the legal struggle for LGBTI rights in India.
All panels, talks, and presentations in English.