LILA Interactions 1-May-2018

Let the Body Speak


Translated from the Tamil by Rizio

Believe my body,
let it speak to you.
Let it speak my truths in your ears,
loud and clear, with no restraint.

Let it speak, let it declare itself.
Let it speak of the battles it fought
while it achingly sprouted its breasts,
through my long homegrown captivity.

Let it speak out uneasily of those pains
that were absorbed by a stiff old rag
while the red satin of my first blood
draped the white slope of a commode.

Let it sing of the gait and adornments
it had striven to preserve across ages.
Let it speak of its springheads of lust
and love, as well as of its buried resolves.

Let it speak of the torment
of yielding on a strange bed,
of having had to please the lust
of someone that it hardly knew.

Let it speak of birthing and losing children,
of its many smelly discharges, and the hurt
in its knee as it walks its menopausal path.
Let it speak aloud, as in a revelation.

Let it be known to you fools,
it is not a body that you rape, but
a deadly weapon. It holds within it
the living nature, its furies.

The body speaks.


Click and Listen to “Udambe Pesa VIdu” in Salma’s voice in Tamil

Age of Freedom


Greetings from LILA!

Once again, we have come to that red season of the year. Today, the first Tuesday of May 2018, marks another arrival of hope. Even as the earth steadily loses its fertile ground beneath our feet, the day still ushers in spring’s prime for many cultures. Across the globe, it is a celebration of the dignity of labour—a waiting for the flowering of the workers of the world.

Since LILA’s inception, every May Day has seen a new initiative. Today we rekindle that tradition and announce the re-launch of our online debate forum, INTER-ACTIONS, as a full-fledged cultural publication.

The new INTER-ACTIONS is a veritable multi-LILA-medium. It shall offset media's sensation with contemplation. It shall be our creative alternative to the safe-playing as well as reactionary media spaces that tend to breed conflicts in the public space or connive at them.  This translocal medium shall now be the critical voice of LILA’s transform-action.

INTER-ACTIONS envisages for every human being what Gandhiji had said most insightfully: ‘I want freedom for the full expression of my personality.”  In these complex times, this medium shall be our quest for that value of freedom which would make our expressions worth sharing. As the first phase of this exploration, through Summer 2018-Spring 2019, we shall bring to our readers, 12 thematic bodies of relevant and transformative cultural material in organic formats.  The themes, ranging from Body and Language to Technology and Market, will move through the prisms of Culture, Philosophy, Development and Governance towards the possibility transformative revelations.

INTER-ACTIONS forms a part of LILA’s second phase activities that are organically connected on the governance thread of Terra-Sutra. This online media space is a convergence of the commitment, expertise and enterprise of our decentred editorial team. As the Editor writes this from the southwestern Indian coastal town of Kochi, her colleagues handling ideation, design, research, and outreach are working from different states of the country—Jammu & Kashmir, Delhi, Haryana, Gujarat, Maharashtra. Besides our own team, hundreds of people participated in a pre-launch online survey on ‘reading’, the results of which shall inform and inspire the form and content of INTER-ACTIONS as it opens itself for public reception on 1 June 2018 with an issue on ‘THE BODY’. As we remain open for critiques, questions and praises, we are grateful for these times that offer us such profoundly translocal possibilities of being and becoming together across distances.

We thank cartoonist E P Unny whose art animates our masthead, artist Priya Ravish Mehra whose vision forms the background of the announcement of our first issue; Tamil poet and political worker Salma whose powerful words signify and reveal our priorities as a publication:

We engage with the histories and realities of the exploited and the marginalised.

We stand for poetry and all its kindred arts that are currently facing the hardships that the light of truth has always faced in the darkest of times.

We keep ourselves and our planet alive against all odds, so we may witness the imminent rise of the Age of Freedom.

Kochi, 01 May 2018

Thinkers of the world, unite.

We would like to thank

Announcement artwork courtesy : Priya Ravish Mehra, Masthead artwork courtesy : E P Unny, Graphic design courtesy : Martin Tom,
Web Design courtesy: Sheeba Abraham