We are not a monolith
Read our collective statement on SAHM and sign up for the new date for our collaborative workshop with ‘Brown Girl Like Me’ Author Jaspreet Kaur
Listen to our audio newsletter here 🌻
Hello beautiful people! inaya here to say hello 👋🏽
I wanted to take this moment to speak about the Taurus solar eclipse that passed last Saturday. Put simply, solar eclipses are new moons with heightened astral energy. New moons happen once a month, and signal a new lunar cycle; they’re an opportunity to reflect on what is no longer serving us and sow our intentions for the next month. As solar eclipses happen every six months, we can use this time to reflect on and set intentions for the previous and coming six months.
At The Rights Collective, we’ve been taking some time away from external events to reflect on what’s no longer serving us as a team and a community, whether that’s working styles or over-committing to things we don’t have capacity for. We’re currently in the process of setting our intentions for the rest of the year, including events, projects, commitments and down time. Read on to see some of the events we’re hosting and attending, including the new date for our inter-generational workshop; Prajanma, in collaboration with Jaspreet Kaur. Also included in this months newsletter is our collective statement on South Asian Heritage Month, written by a group of concerned individuals and organisations about the management, execution and intentions of the festival.
I hope you got time to unwind over the bank holiday and have an easy transition back to the daily grind. Sending love and light to you all!
And Eid Mubarak to everyone celebrating!
A Collective Statement on South Asian Heritage Month
In case you missed it over the last two years, South Asian Heritage Month (SAHM) is a month-long festival of events, talks and workshops running from July-August of each year, “with the goal of helping people to better understand the diversity of present-day Britain and improve social cohesion across the country.” Self-described as being “about reclaiming the history and identity of British South Asians”.
After a great deal of reflection and engagement with those who have been hurt, excluded, ashamed and/or misrepresented by SAHM, we decided to make a collective statement about our experiences. In this statement, we share our ongoing concerns and challenges about the approaches taken towards the development and delivery of SAHM. The statement aims:
to share our experiences with SAHM with the wider South Asian community;
to make transparent the invisibilised logics sitting at the core of this event, and explain why they are harmful;
to demonstrate that no one group, body or organisation can be the voice of “South Asians” in the UK; and
to stand with those who were and continue to be harmed by SAHM’s actions or the lack thereof.
To add your name, click the link below and scroll to the end.
☄️To Move Forward We Must Look Back: Highlights from our first in-person event of the year!
In February 2022, we hosted our first big in-person event in four years around the theme of South Asian organising from past to present. We wanted to share knowledge, connect with our histories and share joyful space with our guests and community after meeting online for so long.
We were lucky enough to collaborate with The Halley - a creative, co-working hub in East London with facilities for musicians and content creators - who kindly donated their gallery space to us for this event. Thank you to everyone at The Halley for your hospitality!
Read our blog post for a small recap and snapshots of the event. A huge thank you to Lara and Loic for the beautiful photos.
NEW DATE: 🌺 Prajanma - an intergenerational dialogue and creative workshop with Jaspreet Kaur
We’re excited to announce our NEW date for Prajanma, a collaborative workshop with ‘Brown Girl Like Me’ author, Jaspreet Kaur! Join us on the 29th May as we bring the community together across generations to focus on discovering and sharing our diverse experiences, identities and definitions of what “being brown” can look like today.
We will be anchoring a dialogue using the themes and extracts from Jaspreet’s book with the intention of co-creating a multi-media showcase to celebrate the expansive, contradictory and ever-changing nature of ‘being a brown girl.’
Anti-Caste Reading Circle: Resources
This is a regular column in our newsletter where we share anti-caste resources with you every month - from readings to videos to events. Feel free to send us anything to feature and check out some of this month’s readings below.
This month’s readings focus on caste and entertainment:
‘Geeli Pucchi’ Is a Lesson in Intersectional, Inclusive Filmmaking by Jyostna Siddharth
Eugenics as Entertainment: “Indian Matchmaking’s” Lighthearted View of Caste Oppression by Aditi Natasha Kini
Caste and conservatism in our TV serials by Aakar Patel
💭 Have you checked out our resource hub yet? We’ve compiled articles, podcasts, and videos to expand and aid existing knowledge on issues including caste, class, and race
📣 Events we’re attending…
Connected Sociologies Curriculum Project are hosting a historical perspective on the UK state’s response to Channel crossings, by considering contemporary border politics. Sign up for Colonial Histories and Maritime Legacies now.
As another Earth Day passes, Join Adalah Justice Project and American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) on 4th May for a conversation on building resistance through food sovereignty, labor, and agriculture in the context of Israel's occupation and blockade of Gaza. Sign up here.
🖊 We’re accepting blog pitches!
The Rights Collective blog not only seeks to amplify the lived experiences within our communities, but also to invite dialogue, critical thinking and introspection. We invite writers to explore issues through personal essays, socio-political analysis, thought pieces, and more.
We can pay a stipend to anyone whose pitches are accepted and published! If you have any questions, you can email our blog editor Tasha.
Most of our spaces, workshops and events are free but if you feel called to contribute to the community and invest in sustaining our work, please donate here.