Concrete Women: Gender, Urbanism, and Protest in South Asia

by Tara Atluri

Print: 978-1-77133-959-9
480 Pages
November 7, 2023

People who live in South Asian cities re-shape politics and actualize constitutional rights, in parks, on playgrounds, and in city streets. Each chapter in this book discusses feminist, Transgender, and queer movements in urban India and Pakistan. The author has interviewed those who are part of a generation of unabashedly courageous, intersectional feminists who are living and working in South Asia and share their first-hand stories. These activists stage protests and artistic interventions in a time period of legal reforms regarding queer rights, public debates regarding sex, the rise of urbanization, and growing forms of Internet literacy and accessibility. Concrete Women is a rumination on the distances between life and death, between unremitting violence and the possibility of justice.

Concrete Women: Gender, Urbanism, and Protest in South Asia

Tara Atluri has a PhD in Sociology. She has written two books. The most recent, Uncommitted Crimes: The Defiance of the Artistic Imagi/nation (Inanna Publications, 2018) discusses subaltern artists in and from Turtle Island (Canada) whose inspiring artwork serves as political critique. Dr. Atluri’s first book, Azadi: Sexual Politics and Postcolonial Worlds (Demeter Press, 2016) draws on interviews with activists, protestors, and people throughout India after the 2012 Delhi gang rape case and the 2013 decision to uphold Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, a colonial law that criminalized LGBTQ people. After years of protest, Section 377 was partially struck down in 2018 making it legal to be queer in India. Tara lives in Toronto, ON.

Introduction: Of Skin and Streets
Chapter One: “I’m Not Sure How To Tell You – from The Archive of K. Kalpana'”: Rashmi Munikempanna’s Affective Worlds
Chapter Two: Farmer Suicide: A Public Feminist Reckoning
Chapter Three: “We have left this world to live with each other.” A Queer Suicide Note
Chapter Four: ASQ: All Sorts of Queers: Desire in the City
Chapter Five: The Aravani Art Project: A Tribute to Public Icons
Chapter Six: Fashion Crimes: The Sartorial Excess of Big Hair, Loud Mouth and Wearabout
Chapter Seven: #MetooIndia: Transnational Dissent
Chapter Eight: #IWillGoOut: Reclaiming the Commons
Chapter Nine: #GirlsatDhabas–Feminist Street Preachers
Chapter Ten: Blank Noise: The Striking Sound of a Ha Ha Sangha
Conclusion: A Pandemic, A Protest, A Public Sphere


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