More Than an Arts Festival: Communities, Resistance, and the Story of Desh Pardesh

Sharon Fernandez

Abstract


Abstract: Desh Pardesh was a Toronto-based arts festival that strove to bring forward the voices of those who are most silenced inside the South Asian community and society at large: gays, lesbians, bisexuals and trans-gendered people. This article tells the story of Desh and discusses the impact of the organization/festival through a focus on three themes: the building of alliances to foster community resistance through the arts, the link between cultural and civic participation, and the notion of “home away from home” belonging. In putting together this case study the author draws on mainstream and ‘alternative’ print media sources, post-colonial theory, her own experience and solicited observations from individuals closely involved with Desh Pardesh throughout its 13-year existence.


Resume: Desh Pardesh est un festival des arts, situé à Toronto, dont le but était de donner une voix aux membres de la communauté de l’Asie du Sud et du grand public qui sont particulièrement aphones : c’est-à-dire les personnes gaies, lesbiennes, bisexuelles et transgenres. Cet article raconte l’histoire de Desh et analyse l’impacte qu’ont eu l’organisation et le festival, en se concentrant sur trois thèmes : la formation d’alliances susceptibles de favoriser un esprit de résistance communautaire à travers les arts, le lien entre la participation culturelle et civique, et la notion d’appartenance « home away from home ». Dans l’élaboration de cette étude, l’auteure utilise les ressources suivantes : certains textes médiatiques dominants et alternatifs, la théorie postcoloniale, ainsi que sa propre expérience et ses observations recueillies chez certains individus intimement impliqués avec Desh Pardesh pendant les treize années de son existence.

Keywords


South Asian community; Resistance; Gay and lesbian history

Full Text: HTML PDF


DOI: https://doi.org/10.22230/cjc.2006v31n1a1778

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