We are storytelling creatures, and as humans we always acquire a medium to tell those stories that we have inside us. As an artist and a moderator of the session, I am inviting you all to share your queer stories not only through verbal language but through visuals. If you intend to join the session, pick a couple of photographs from your childhood, teenage, adult life or recently taken photographs and share a story attached to the image - particularly related to your sexuality. The image may have a story of your first encounter of your intimate and sexual desires with a same gender person, accepting your identity, coming out, struggles in life or celebrating it to its best. The 45-60 minutes session will be focusing more on queer side of our life stories to share the mutual effort to give attention to ‘our personal myth’ - about who we were/are deep down as queer people our life stories of secrets, snags, survival and success as queer person to bring a sense of power, purpose and relevance in the participants in the group. As a moderator of the session, I will be sharing my ongoing struggles, aspirations and strategies to deal with life as a queer man living in an Islamic republic where gays are arrested and sentenced to prison on charges linked to debauchery and also face flogging or even the death consequence sometimes.
M**SIN aka SINderlla Non Disney Version is an interdisciplinary artist living and working in Lahore - Pakistan, who is proactive about carving space, self-representation and self-empowerment using art and activism to forge professional and personal survival in Pakistan's tense culture. As an Asian Pakistani Muslim queer and as an artist he articulates territorial struggle of sexuality within religious and spiritual subcultures. He primarily engages local narratives from Pakistan and South Asian region and challenges the danger of being visibly non-conforming within a militant state, the danger of being seen through the lens of sexual taboos, gender binaries, ethnic hierarchies, and religious strictures. He is interested in the role of art in social change, transformative healing and collective justice. M.S. holds a Masters Degree in visual arts and Bachelor’s Degree in visual communication. He served his alma mater for almost seven years as faculty before he was exiled for his outspoken writings and activism in early 2018.