The Queer Archives, Bangladesh

Brief description
We are a queer collective in Bangladesh who want to document local practices, experiences and histories of queerness. We believe that building a radical queer politics in Bangladesh requires that we create an alternative starting point to imagine from.  In order to do this, queer communities need to be able to survey the creative ways in which groups across the country have survived and organised, and where they fit into long histories of resistance. To this end, we have created The Queer Archives, Bangladesh for queer communities that both this collective and other members of the communities will continue to add to themselves.

Conceptual framework
Our concept of 'queer' goes beyond the particular forms of identity and practice that the categories in 'LGBT+' entail in a Western context. We aim to archive alternative socialities -  kinship structures and other relations of intimacy, behavioural patterns and expressions of desire which push beyond the forms of social organisation and experience that a heteronormative, patriarchal society allows.

Content and archiving process
The archive will include material drawn from historical texts (like Dinesh Chandra Sen's histories), recent ethnographies and ethnographic articles with authors' permission, and  detailed audio, video and textual documentation of the experiences and memories of different queer individuals and communities in Bangladesh today. The main organisers of this project will do some of this archiving work, but much of it will also be done by other members of queer communities, to ensure that they are choosing their own narrative frames and content. As many of those documenting and those sharing their knowledge will be from low-income groups, they will be compensated for their labour. To ensure the safety of those who are documented (considering recent murders and arrests) the archive will not be online, but will be accessible to the communities - in the short term via external hard drive, but we hope to establish a centre in the long term.

Why we need you to donate
Please contribute to our project. Even as the world celebrates Bangladesh's GDP successes, we are watching in horror as truly democratic space in this country shrinks in the face of rampant neoliberalism,, hypernationalism and militarisation. And in order to build these alternative visions, we need to draw on memories of alternative ways of living and relating to each other that have survived in the face of great violence- memories that will otherwise be erased. We thus ask you donate and form this global solidarity with us.  
Laptop- £680
Canon 700D Video camera- £500
Audio recorder X4- £440
Tripod- £8
Mic and lapel- £18
Editing software- £470 for 1 year 
External hard-drive- £170
Participant conveyance fees- £1000 at
 £250/month for 4 months
Community archiver fees- £1600 at £400/mo for 6 archivists for 4 months
Transport - £100

*Acountability: We apologise that we cannot link this campaign to a personal facebook, because this could endanger the person linked. We were not able to provide a Bangladeshi postal code because the website did not recognise them - the one provided is from the address of one of our members who lives in the UK.


Queer Archive Bangladesh

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