By Aapurv Jain and Shreya Gupta
GSG organized a two day Lesbian Film Festival on 26 and 27 September 2014. We were much excited about the film festival and about it being a lesbian film festival, given the marginalization of lesbians in our culture – the marginalization which culminates in a forced erasure. Women who love women are in-visible-ized. Women are not given space in this culture. We wanted to create that space – for two days at least – a space where we can begin a discussion.
We focused on Indian films because we felt that lesbians are particularly neglected there. In our LGBTQ workshop last year, the women’s panel was the most interesting and the most forthright. They had talked about this lack of space and culture in which to articulate their desire and their expression. The response to the film festival was mixed. First, we drew a great flack for calling it Lesbian Film Festival and not just Film Festival or say, Queer Film Festival. Some people said that the name ‘Lesbian Film Festival’ sounded weird to the ears. But then, that is the whole idea! Why is it weird to call it a Lesbian Film Festival when it is about films based on lesbians? Secondly, at the event, we had a great turn out. There were more than hundred people for most of our sessions. Students found the films very useful and appreciated the fact that such a festival was organized in Delhi University. Thirdly, we did suffer much abuse both online on social media and offline in person. Some people commented about bringing condoms for their male friends who were attending the festival and some people just laughed at this festival. This post is a general review of the festival. We will soon issue separate posts about the student-panel discussion in the festival and on the on/offline abuse met by the group.