November 30, 2021: We celebrated our outgoing class of fellows with a convocation Q & A featuring filmmaker Mira Nair. It was an evening to remember. Thank you Mira for inspiring our outgoing class with your creativity, resilience, courage and energy. We were thrilled to have the opportunity to learn from you and thank you for your time.
September 24, 2021: South Asia Speaks is delighted to announce a collaboration with A Suitable Agency. For current and future fellows this means that they will not only be mentored as they write their book, but that they will also have a chance to secure a literary agent.
On August 4, the South Asia Speaks' writing group hosted author Fatima Bhutto for a conversation about craft, publishing and more. Fellow Samia Mehraj, who set up the group and invited Fatima, writes: "We had an absolutely lovely session with Fatima. Some fifteen fellows participated. It was informal, intimate, and went on for about two hours." In September, the group will host novelist Karan Mahajan and non-fiction writer Sonia Faleiro.
Journalist Tenzin Sangmo has published her first-ever article in English, with the support of her mentor McKenzie Funk. “Sharing news about Tibet is high risk for all,” she writes for Voice of America
Nusrat F. Jafri, a cinematographer who is working with mentor Aanchal Malhotra, has a new short film called Pilibhit. It’s already been screened at the Indian Film Festival Stuttgart, The New York Indian Film Festival and the Sedona International Film Festival. Trailer.
Pallavi Narayan has co-edited an anthology of short stories by writers in Singapore and the subcontinent. Singapore at Home: Life across Lines is published by Kitaab (2021) and is available as a paperback and e-book. Pallavi’s mentor is Mira Kamdar.
Chandrima Das will publish her debut collection of short stories, Young Blood (Harper Collins India) later this year. Indrapramit Das, author of The Devourers, calls the book "a compelling, creepy and always entertaining campus road trip around an India haunted by horrors both societal and supernatural." Chandrima’s mentor is Aruni Kashyap.
Sonia Gomes wrote the Portuguese subtitles for the Konkani film Nachom-ia Kumpasar (“Dance to the Beat”). Produced by Goa Folklore Productions and directed by Bardroy Baretto, the film is available for streaming on GoaFlix. Sonia’s mentor is Arunava Sinha.
Arslan Athar, who is working with mentor Fatima Bhutto, wrote an op-ed for Newsweek on how Pakistan is killing its own digital dreams. Here’s Arslan’s review of a coffee table book on the history of Pakistan’s fashion industry.
Monika Mondal investigated the environmental cost of India’s booming sugar market for The Third Pole. Her investigation prompted an official enquiry by India's environment court. Monika’s mentor is Fatima Bhutto.
Amna Chaudhry’s “Cheap Cheap Ganaay” was published by Behenchara. What is a cheap ganaa, you ask? “A cheap gaana is the song all male relatives shake their heads at whenever someone is surfing channels during a daawat.” Amna’s mentor is Nikita Lalwani.
Sona Srivastava, who is working with Arunava Sinha, translated a short story by the satirist Harishankar Parsai from Hindi to English. You can read “The Pact” in the inaugural issue of Rhodora Magazine.
Rahee Punyashloka is writing a series about food through the lens of his Dalit identity. Read “Peeling Onions; Or, to be Dalit, and Eat” at Dalit Camera. And “Strange Fruit: Or, to be Dalit, and Eat” at Café Dissensus. Rahee is working with Madhuri Vijay.
Aditi Mittal’s going on tour! You can watch the stand up comic perform her new special “Unreliable Narrator” on Zoom through July. Tickets here. Aditi’s mentor is Marc Herman.