Orfalea Center Thematic Research Cluster
Global Genders and Sexualities
MATAI in Meiteilon language translates as periphery which echoes the peripherality and marginality of the Global South. The Zine brings to the fore peripheral issues of the Global South vis-à-vis the Global North and also within itself. This issue COVID 19 IN NORTHEAST INDIA documents the impact of COVID 19 in Northeast India, a landlocked and conflict-torn region in India’s periphery. Also a region heavily pervaded by border conflict, drug mafia as well as ethnic, human rights, economic, political and developmental crises. The North-East remains a complex yet unheard region in Asia. The frame of reference for the North East in public policy and international relations is dominated by ideas about ethnic conflict, militarization and it’s impact on heteronormative families, thus erasing queer and transgender life-making in the region. In recent times several LGBTQ formations, transgender fashion paegants, and zines have come to life in the region. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has brought severe disruptions to queer and transgender lives, including a return to the heteronormative family space.
The stories brought together in the Zine brings together unheard stories of COVID 19 from the region in the form of short essays, interviews, creative expressions, visual arts, photo stories, illuminating how bodies living in the fringe of a border zone experience structural violence and are simultaneously reconfiguring intimate spaces in the Global South. This issue is supported by Orfalea Center for Global & International Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara, US.
I am a cultural anthropologist and work on the Desi transgender identity and activism.