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As courtrooms become sites of sexual freedom through fighting colonial era laws or seeking rights for same sex marriages, often presented as a decolonial movement, Dhiren Borisa reminds us that it is far from it. Borisa argues that, in its moment of glory, it erases violent caste histories that continue to characterise South Asian queer lives. It produces what it believes is the queer subject. In its attempt to present a homogenous queer figure that fights the British colonial pasts, it resorts to entrenched and everyday caste violence to sustain itself. It brings to surface a celebration of past which is also a celebration of caste.

From how desires are themselves coded and practiced in everyday – from streets, homes, dance floors, and dating Apps – what assimilative practices are demanded from us the ‘others’? What happens to the Dalit queer lover and their desires? And can a project of decolonising sexualities ever be complete without simultaneously de-brahmanising it? This seminar builds on everyday embodied practices of survival and deploys storytelling as a decolonial praxis. Borisa brings together stories from England and Dalit queer experiences in India to showcase the continuity of coloniality through practices of caste - in hope for a collective challenge, and for change. 


Dhiren Borisa

Dhiren Borisa is a Dalit queer activist, poet and urban sexual geographer and is currently employed at Jindal Global Law school as an Assistant Professor. He is an Urban Studies International Fellow 2022. Dhiren attained his PhD from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi on 'Queer cartographies of desires in Delhi'. His research engages with sexual mappings and makings of cities from an intersectional and decolonial lens both among queer spaces in India and in diasporic queer worldings.

The event is jointly hosted with the Cities, Climate and Capital in the Greater Indian Ocean World Research Group.

Event details

SE 4.06
Bush House South East Wing
Strand, London WC2R 1AE