by Rania Putri
It is often believed that freedom comes with escaping or breaking away from the shackles that bound us in any way: physically, mentally, spiritually, or emotionally.
But will you believe me when I tell you that my freedom, my salvation, my refuge, and my escape, is found in the act of concealment?
by Ruchira Khanna
October 17, 1970
One of the shores of the river Ganges is bustling with heavy laughter, with soothing music playing in the background, and dozens of people are mingling with plates in their hands. The women are walking carefully on the cobblestone path in their heels while the men are in their dress shoes. It is the month of October when the calm winds have made their way from the Himalayas. People have begun indulging in warm, comforting foods such as warm milk with saffron and nuts and scrumptious sweets such as jalebi, rabdi and gajar ka halwa.
by D. Sohi
In a previous article for The Brown Orient, I discussed the dual threat brown people face in the West: terrorism and backlash from the right-wing and white extremists. I argued that brown people are equally at risk of falling victim to terrorism, hatred, and suspicion.
Over the years there have been several instances of the scenario described above. A few such cases, in particular, caught my attention. On 19th September 2018, the driver of a car aimed to run over worshippers leaving a Mosque in North London. It was reported that the driver shouted anti-Muslim Phrases at them. Despite this, the Police announced that they were not treating it as an act of terrorism. Even when the event was reported on social media, the word "terrorism" was never used. I found this strange, yet unsurprising.
by Fatima Al Aryani
I have always wanted to write a novel with awesome characters and a unique plot. There were times when I would imagine that a small light bulb had appeared atop my head; this is when my mind would get frantic with new ideas for my novel.
With a sizzling excitement, I would make my way to the laptop, open a fresh word document, and begin typing. My fingers would fervently beat against the smooth surface of the keyboard, while I would focus on the story.
by Elizabeth Ruth Deyro
We create art for different reasons: emotional catharsis, individual reflection, outward expression of this realization, attempts to inspire social change, little steps for artistic revolution. Last year, we met Silenced Museum, an independent collective that believe in the power of art to weave a better world, free of sexual harassment and assault. Through events, exhibits, and various forms of art, Silenced Museum tries to bridge the gaps of understanding and banks on optimism in forwarding their advocacy.
The Brown Orient was lucky enough to have been feature in their Autumn 2018 Intervention Exhibition held at Ugly Duck, London, with works by our editor-in-chief Elizabeth Ruth Deyro, art director Kristienne Amante, and contributors Iris Orpi and Donnaleen Lao. We were also given an opportunity to speak with Maria McLintock, the founder of Silenced Museum on their humble beginnings and future projects that we can look forward to.
by Elizabeth Ruth Deyro
In June 2018, the first Philippine mental health law has officially been passed. After years of lobbying, advocates and practitioners alike finally stood victorious. It was a gift to the Filipinos, they proclaimed, and true enough, it was. At a political climate such as ours today, a legislation that aims to safeguard the mental health of our citizens is needed more than ever.
by Samannaz Rohanimanesh
It is always a joy to see our former contributors move forward with new projects. One of which is Ruchira Khanna, who recently published her fifth novel, "R.S.V.P." The Brown Orient had the opportunity to review the book and chat with Ruchira.
by Agampreet Kalra
Before we begin with how poetry should be read, maybe we should start by asking what it actually is. So, what is poetry? Is poetry a set of words sewn together to rhyme? But how may that be when poems have free verses too? Is it a story? But it isn't direct enough to be called a story. So, what is poetry?
by Harmanpreet Bhatti (with interview by Samannaz Rohanimanesh)
Throughout the twenty-something years of my life, I’ve gone through my fair share of icebreakers: Where are you from? What’s your favorite sport? What are your career goals? To date, the only noteworthy question I’ve ever received is: If you weren’t in the field you are in as of now, what would you be doing? It’s an overused question, especially in the academic field, but I’ve enjoyed hearing my peers’ responses and seeing their reactions to my answer. “I don’t know, I’d probably be studying death.” Immediately, people would raise their eyebrows and give me confused looks. “Oh? Death? That’s a...strange field.” Strange to some, but to others, death is a field that deserves far more recognition.
It is rare to come across a book that leaves you thinking, long after you are done reading it. This book was one of those.
“In the Middle of it All” is a heart-wrenching collection of coming-of-age experiences of thirty one women, penned down in various forms, ranging from essays, photographs and illustrations. This book has been put together by Banat Collective, a creative community founded in response to a lack of artistic spaces and absence of discussions of womanhood within the arts in the Middle East and North Africa.
by Elizabeth Ruth Deyro
Young as we are as a publication, The Brown Orient has already been blessed with opportunities to find a community of our own in this wide expanse of independent publishing. We are firm believers of mutual support for like-minded collectives: editors, artists, and writers who believe in creating safe spaces for marginal identities. One of the few publications that we are lucky to have partnered with is L’Éphémère Review, an online literary and art journal and micro-press dedicated to the ephemeral, existential, and eternal.
Journal founders had a one-on-one as TBO's Elizabeth Ruth Deyro got to chat with L’ÉR's Kanika Lawton about her publication's humble beginnings and what we can expect for its bright future.
by Samannaz Rohanimanesh
As the cool breeze of October swipes the bumpy face of the Golden City in California; Asia Week San Francisco Bay Area wraps up yet another bustling week of diverse cultural programs including art exhibitions, performances, screenings, lectures, talks, open studios, auctions, workshops, panel discussions and a featured annual symposium with 35 museums, galleries, auction houses and other art and cultural institutions.
by Synequeen Alasa-as
Stockton, California, USA is located in Northern California Central Valley. Northern California is home to some of the world’s most iconic companies such as Apple, Pixar, Facebook. Whether in South Bay or East Bay, the American Dream is stamped through symbols of tech companies and weight of new beginnings, held by monuments such as the Golden Gate Bridge. However, it is the Valley where the heart is. Stockton’s rich cultural and agricultural history is the origin story of Asian Americans to mainland U.S., especially for Filipina/os and Punjabi community. Since the turn of the mid-1800s, the Asian American diaspora has been founded on the backs of the poor migrant laborers, who were solely recruited for expansion of the U.S.
by Samannaz Rohaminesh
The intersperse of art and literature can do wonders when done the right way, and this brand new novel from Yali Books did just that. We were lucky enough to be given a chance to review the graphic novel Amla Mater, and chat with the phenomenal artist behind this masterpiece.
Review by Namrata, Interview by Samannaz Rohaminesh
Fiction rooted on reality impacts us greatly, in ways more significant than we can ever imagine. Read our review of Nadya A.R.'s Invisible Ties. We also got to chat with Nadya on her inspired story, future projects, and things in-between.