'Who are my people?' is an online repository and installation conceptualized by Varsha Panikar (they/them), that aims to archive and document stories and experiences of the south-Asian queer individuals with chosen family and queer kinship, in order to create long term access to stories and lived-realities. A project celebrating and championing the strength and the bonds of queer kinship within south-Asian queer communities, while exploring the evolution of non-tradition families, that aim to resist the idea of family as something we are given and must accept.
Chosen Family are groups of people made from those we’ve loved, found, and raised. People who we share a connection or similar experience with, occasionally falling within the same sub-culture or socio-political demographic. They grow together like vines climbing the side of a house in summer: One day, you look up and realize they’ve bloomed, and there are simply too many to count.
The goal is to preserve memories of people who have in some or more ways been abandoned or rejected by their biological kin, or whose experience with their biological family has left their needs unmet, whose biological family aren't supportive, or located nearby, or those who have lost or don't know their biological family. These stories will someday become the history of queer identities from today. Preserving these stories will ensure that they are not abandoned, forgotten, lost, or told through a lens that know nothing about being in a queer body. Through these stories, we'll get to explore what home, or a sanctuary truly means to some of us, and perhaps, we might be able to create a collective imagination of what a queer oasis could look like.
Quite often, stories of queer identities are told by people who know nothing about being in a queer body.
An important part of preservation is transparency and authenticity, and with that in mind, the project was created so others from the community could contribute to it, as a way to tell their own stories in their own voice, however they'd choose to (in the form of words, poetry, ramblings, essays, visual arts, memes, gifs, music, clips, videos & family photos etc.), as a way for them to retain agency and authorship over their own stories and how those stories are represented.
Currently seeking funds coders, developers and collaborator for the project.
Since the project primarily revolves around queer south-Asian stories, we are only looking for people from within the south-Asian LGBTQIA++ community to collaborate with.
Please get in touch to know about the project in detail.
I am in the development stage of archiving, and hence, not in a position to pay, but as and when we get funding,
I am hoping to eventually, pay an honorarium to the collaborators and the people whose stories the project collects.
Write to me at email@example.com to know more.