SheWrite... narratives of work and Tamil poetry
Dr Anjali Monteiro and Dr K.P. Jayasankar of Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Deonar, Bombay's Unit for Media and Communications have announced the launch of SheWrite which they've jointly directed. SheWrite DVCAM, 55 mins, Tamil with English subtitles, 2005 They describe it thus:
SheWrite weaves together the narratives and work of four Tamil women poets. Salma negotiates subversive expression within the tightly circumscribed space allotted to a woman in the small town of Thuvarankurichi. She is able to defy and transcend family proscriptions on writing to become a significant voice questioning patriarchal mores in a powerful yet gentle way. For Kuttirevathi, a Siddha doctor and researcher based in Chennai, solitude is a crucial creative space from where her work resonates, speaking not just for herself but also for other women who are struggling to find a voice. Her anthology entitled Breasts (2003) became a controversial work that elicited hate mail, obscene calls and threats. The fact that a number of women poets are resisting patriarchy and exploring themes such as desire and sexuality in their creative work been virulently opposed by some Tamil film lyricists, who have gone on record with threats of death and violence. This has been resisted by a group of poets and other artists who have formed a collective called Anangu (Woman), which is attempting to expand the subversive creative spaces available to women writers and poets, across Tamil Nadu. Malathy Maitri, who lives in Pondicherry, has been a Dalit and Marxist activist. She is a founder member of Anangu. Her poems attempt to explore and express feminine power and spaces. Sukirtharani, a school teacher in Lalapet, writes of desire and longing, celebrating the body in a way that affirms feminine empowerment and a rejection of male-centred discourse. The film traverses these diverse modes of resistance, through images and sounds that evoke the universal experiences of pain, anger, desire and transcendence. More on the film at http://shewrite.tripod.com/index.htmTheir earlier work is Naata. Here's wishing Anjali and Jayasankar all the very best. Not the least for their persistence in bringing to light quality and interesting work... and also because they take the trouble to offer online links to the work.