top of page

Chennai Queer LitFest 2019

Date: 14 Sep 2019 - 10 am to 5.30 pm | Venue: Kavikko Convention Centre, Chennai - 04

The Chennai Queer LitFest was started in 2018 to create a conversation about Queer Indian literature, Queerness in India and to bring together political and literary values of the works that play an important role in the lives of queer persons. The second edition of the Queer LitFest in 2019 moves ahead to explore how inclusive our literatures can be.  This edition focuses on Inclusive Children’s Literature, Art in Queer Literature, Translation and Queer Literature in Tamil and Malayalam. 

Inclusive Children's Literature  (Speech in English and Tamil)

Books play a crucial role in shaping our thoughts and world view. In the formative years it is important to have literature that projects an equal and inclusive content to children. This not only helps in fostering a broader view but also does not exclude children who are perceived to be not ‘normal’. Inclusive literature are not stories about people who are different or a medium to teach others about the lives of those perceived to be different. They are stories with engaging plots lines which happen to include characters and narratives that are from all walks of life. This session explores if the literature we consume and celebrate is mindful of the diverse world we live in. 

Speakers: Shals mahajan (English), Salai Selvam (Tamil).

Art in Queer Literature (Panel in Tamil)

Art is a perception, art is something perceived rather than spoken words of representation. While it is easy to quote “picture speaks a thousands words” when we talk about art, does all the art-illustration represent each one of us who consume it? Does the current art form in our literatures represent the diverse spectrum of humans or does it represent what we see as the ‘norm’? Art is also a portrayal and projection that convey something more, paving way to perceive people, situation, politics and so on. Art from the subaltern not just paves way or perceptions but also brings empowerment within the community and widely projects the idea which spoken words had missed to do, art by itself promotes a philosophy and politics. 

Panelists: Maari, Vai. Moderator: Senthil

Queer Literature in Malayalam  (Speech in English)

Kerala's specific geographical separation from the rest of South India via Western Ghats, and the influence from outside world via its ancient seaports, has caused it to evolve culturally in a very unique way. This is also reflected in Kerala's literature, especially in depicting same-sex love and transgender identities. Some of the bold and honest feminist writings from legends like Madhavikutty (Kamala Das) have paved the way for queer writings in Malayalam. The talk Chronicles a timeline of major writings in queer theme that occurred in Malayalam literature, from pre-independence to current era. There will also be book readings (English translation) from selected sections of  "Randu Purushanmar Chumbikkumbol" / "When two Men Kiss", the author's autobiography.

Speaker: Kishor.


A Conversation on Translation

Translation is a new tree growing out from the root of the original, in the words of poet Yang Lian. The new tree must necessarily be different from the old one. The difference is what we must talk about. This conversation on translation must open up perspectives, show us what we may know but not acknowledge. What are the voices that are heard, what are the messages that are lost.

Speaker: V Geetha

Open Mic

This is a platform for expressing your ideas. The rules are simple - stick to the time limit, and skirt around the larger themes as far as possible. Poetry, spoken word, LecDem, music, song, comedy, drama, performance. Choose your medium, choose your style and let yourself go. 


Theme: இயல், ஈர்ப்பு (Norms and Attraction)

Time limit per participant: 12 minutes

If you'd like to collaborate with us in the future, please write to


EVENT SCHEDULE (See page 2 for English) 

Register [CLOSED]
bottom of page