Re/imagining Queer Utopias: Voices from South Asia, published by Shuddhashar FreeVoice and with convening editor, Shakhawat Hossain Rajeeb, is informed by the lived realities and long-nurtured dreams of South Asian queer people. This book explores new possibilities and new worlds, which the editors and contributors refer to as ‘queer utopias.’ In using the term ‘utopia,’ they take inspiration from Rokeya Shakhawat Hossain, who in 1905 wrote one of the earliest modern feminist utopias in her “Sultana’s Dream” – a radical reimagining of patriarchy and gender. Contrary to popular perceptions of utopia as an unattainable perfect world, this utopia is about possibility and aspiration and a recognition that society is deeply flawed. But instead of falling into despair or victimhood, contributors of Re/imagining Queer Utopias think of alternatives that can emerge from critically engaging with current circumstances.
Contributors to this anthology are informed by the diverse contexts and experiences in South Asia where, in recent years, diverse queer movements have achieved significant milestones – from decriminalization to legal gender recognition to same-sex relationships. These communities have also faced tragic and severe backlashes in many parts of South Asia.
Through narratives, analysis, poetry, and art, contributors consider how faith and religion, class, family, nationality, and mental health affect diverse visions of queer utopias. Re/imagining Queer Utopias will be of interest to activists, academics, policymakers, donors, and anyone else who wants to envision other realities for queer communities.