Organised by the Queer Chennai Chronicles (QCC), started by two writers, Moulee C and Violet LJ, the one-day fest scheduled for July 7 will have several activities like panel discussions, oration, poetry and reading sessions.
Moulee explained that it is important to have books in queer literature that people can relate to. “We started QCC eight months ago as a literary forum and a publishing house. Growing up, most of my exposure towards queer topics were through western platforms. We need debates around LGBTQI issues to move away from urban or English-speaking arenas for it to be more accessible. That can be done with Tamil literature to reach more people in the tier 2 and tier 3 cities,” he said. Earlier this year, the QCC published its first Tamil book Vidupattavi.
Moulee added that most of the popular writings on LGBTQI topics are not by queer people. “Hence, the writings are based on assumptions and stereotypes, which is disappointing.”
The organisers hope that the Queer LitFest will encourage and create opportunities for queer writers, translators and artists who are otherwise invisible or ignored in various literary platforms. It has been organised by QCC through crowd-funding.
“We have lined up discussions on topics such as the media representation and narratives of LGBTQ individuals, queer literature in publishing, literature that shapes queer identities in India and so on,” said Moulee.
Additionally, the festival will have a session dedicated for LGBTQ identified writers and translators to display their works. The event will also feature a ‘New Voices slot’, where they invite pitches from upcoming and new writers to present, talk or read their writings.
The event will be held at Kavikko convention centre in Mylapore on July 7 from 10 am to 5.30 pm.