Amra Odbudh Collective
Amra Odbudh Collective was founded in May, 2016 to help create more safe spaces for queer and trans performance, art and conversation. Working out of Kolkata, West Bengal, the group members felt a lack of spaces outside cruising areas for queer and trans people to meet and connect. “These public spaces are also dominated by cis hetero people who often make LGBTQ people feel unsafe, and in many cases actively inflict physical violence to community members. For this reason we wanted a community run space where we can control our own narratives and feel safe being vulnerable and ourselves,” they said. Art is at the centre otheirur project, as all their organisers are artists and performers that feel it is important to curate LGBTQ culture and find ways of archiving, sharing and living their stories.
In early 2017, the group organised an event that helped raise funds for many elderly, homeless trans artists. This was extremely crucial, because it helped pay for their healthcare in an unexpected health crisis that followed. Apart from this, their events usually have a footfall of 50-150 LGBTQ people. A poetry reading by Alok Vaid Menon was attended by many queer folks who brought their parents along, and it opened a larger conversation about queerness within family structures. The Collective events, in many ways, becomes the space for negotiation of queerness between biological and chosen families.