#BritainWeExist! Queer South Asians reclaiming debate about LGBTQ+ education

Wednesday 28th August 2019 14:41 EDT

Creative collective Aesthesia is presenting #BritainWeExist– a series of events leading to a national public art installation around the UK to make visible LGBTQ British South Asians. The festival begins on 30 August at London’s Saatchi Gallery, and will run until 2 September. It includes talks, films, conversations, and play readings, exploring identities around being British, British South Asian, Queer British South Asian, and Queer British South Asian of faith.

#BritainWeExist is launched in response to the #NoOutsiders protests that have been taking place around Birmingham schools in recent months.

“The protesters claim to support the LGBTQ+ community, yet at the same time they do not accept Queer Muslims.

“Privately, most other South Asian communities in the UK react in the same way – it’s ‘okay for others, but not for our own’. There is a shift in attitudes, but not fast enough,” explains curator Ash Kotak.

#BritainWeExist also coincides with the first-year anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in India, with the striking down of parts of Section 377 of the colonial-era Indian Penal Code. It will also investigate the long history of the struggle for visibility by Queer British-Asian people. The launch is presented by Club Kali.

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