Pune: The third edition of the Queer and Allies Art Festival (QAAF) by MIST, an online fraternity of LGBT people, is scheduled to be held in the city. It is organised with an objective to bring about awareness about the LGBT community among people, through art forms.
Several LGBT groups from Pune, Bengaluru and Hyderabad will participate in the festival, which will be held on December 17.
Giving details about the fest, Sonali Dalvi, who will be performing at the fest, said that while Maharashtra was the second state to pass the transgender rights bill, the State is still quite orthodox about the community.
“We live in a modern world. I believe that the new generation, which is growing up in this world, should have the right to be open about their sexuality, with comfort. I hope that the coming generation shouldn’t have to face what I did, when I came out with my sexuality. In this festival, we are using art as a medium for the LGBT community to express everything that’s a taboo in our society,” Dalvi said.
Dance performances, films, poetry reading, music, stand-up comedy, etc, will be a part of the fest. All these art forms will be portraying the message of free expression of sexuality.
“The entry to the fest is free and open to all. Not just the members of the LGBT community, but even others should attend the festival, as our main motto is to spread awareness about this ‘forbidden’ topic among everybody in society,” Dalvi said.
Shyam Konnur, founder of MIST, said, “One of the highlights of our festival is not just the community members, but even other artists. We always stand up for our issues and talk about them, but here, even those who aren’t a part of the community speak for us. Also, besides the problems that come with being a part of LGBT group, we also face problems like other people. In the end, it’s all about standing together for a common cause.”
Konnur said, “We have received a great response in all the other cities we have been to. We expect the same in Pune as well.”
Dalvi added, “The main agenda is to get heterosexual people to perceive us with respect. It only needs a human heart to understand the humanity in others, after all.”