Posts tagged lovely
Posts tagged lovely
One of the foot soldiers in Toronto’s underground music scene, Rosina Kazi is the lead singer of the band LAL and she has recorded with State of Bengal, Toronto Tabla Ensemble, Titonton, Moonstarr, Abacus, da grassroots and more. She has been instrumental in the growth of many of the City’s artists and DJ’s, providing venues and forums for their musical expression. More importantly, she has managed to add an air of consciousness and political awareness to many of those events, and this awareness is the most distinctive factor of her music. She grew up in the Canadian-Bangladeshi community where politics and art went hand in hand. She grew up singing and dancing traditional Bengali folk music and dance and went on to play in choirs and bands up until high school.
Rosina teaches and performs spoken word, which is another outlet for her passion for community and art. Through her community arts organization, ‘COMMUNITY CENTRE’, Rosina also works with youth and facilitates spoken word, song-writing and indie art making programs. Rosina created COMMUNITY CENTRE to teach youth and to support artists who needed support with their own projects. Thus far COMMUNITY CENTRE has produced three albums, for Palestinian poet Rafeef Ziadah (supported by the OAC), Brazilian singer Luanda Jones (OAC and Canada Council) and Queer Dance Music Artist Troy Jackson.
Rosina has been composing music professionally for over 12 years. She has recorded 4 albums with the band LAL, and has guest appeared on over 10 recordings (from techno to folk music albums). She also plays harmonium, and composes using samplers and laptops. Her passion is connecting with different communities and having a conversation through words and music. One of the ways she does this is to also program different festivals and community based programs such Masala Mehndi Masti, Afro Latin South Asian Festival, and Mayworks. She has created a style that incorporates her singing voice and her love of reciting poetry, which is very much informed by hip hop and spoken word cultures. She continues to teach spoken word workshops for organizations like Diaspora Dialogues, Buddies in Bad Times, AQSA Zine Collective, The Royal Music Conservatory and more.
Find out more about Rosina, lal and her revolutionary music here:
Brown Eyed Warrior - Lal - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xi1zRJ9JIlE
Murr ft. Rosina - My Best Dress: http://vimeo.com/24029446
Hari Kondabolu is a Brooklyn-based stand-up comic who has been described by Timeout NY as “smart, analytical and rising.”
Check out his piece on “Unfair Skin”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnW1u26YKb4&feature=relmfu
He has performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Comedy Central, and John Oliver’s New York Standup Show.
Submitted by Sunaina Chugani
Heya! I’m Tiara, Bangladeshi parentage and Malaysian origin, currently based in SF Bay Area in the US. I grew up in a climate of intense racism against Bangladeshis in Malaysia and people would find every excuse to find fault with Bangladeshis. Skin colour was a common thing: I was dark, therefore I was ugly, therefore I could not be trusted. Sometimes I’d be called “hitam manis” (sweet black), but it took on a vibe closer to a slur, and usually people just skipped straight to the more potent slurs - “Bangla” or “keling” (a slur directed towards dark-skinned South Asians, about as bad as n*****).
Shadeism is rife in Malaysia, and overtly so. Every beauty product has skin lightening properties (I don’t know if any of them worked). Dark meant evil, dirty, uncouth, untrustworthy, low class, disgusting. I worked in the media for a while but could never get an onscreen role because again, too dark.
I moved to Australia in 2006 and it was interesting to note that in some ways the skin colour pressure is less overt. If anything my skin colour gets exotified - “oh I wish I could tan like you!” or comparison to various sweets. But it’s still hard to get taken seriously while brown - people ask me constantly “where are you from?” as if I am some space alien and then they dispute my answer! They are surprised I speak English! (I did get an onscreen TV role surprisingly, yay Australia Network). I’ve been doing burlesque for a while and I do get quite a few people sayjng I’m too brown hairy fat ugly to bare myself. Screw them.
The picture is in response to a Brisbane based lingerie company that hosted a photo competition & model search. Amongst their criteria was that the model should be a “classic beauty” and specifically mentioned pale white skin. It took them a while to realize how racist their criteria was, but even now there are no brown models.
Submitted by Creatrix Tiara
I was delighted to find this tumblr.
My name is Joy Hui Lin, I’m a half Thai and half Chinese entertainment writer and poet. My Thai family is considered dark/tan which we’ve always said must mean that we’re part South Asian from a long while back. In Thailand being a Chinese-Thai which are the fairer skin citizens is the ideal. All the women on the TV programs or commercials are fair skinned and of course there are skin bleaching creams galore advertised nonstop. As I’ve gotten tanner my cousins on both sides tell me “You’re like a black person …” in a tone of equal parts insult and dismay. My sisters and I stand around while our other Asian friends remark with disappointment to their children, “You’ve gotten so tan,” after a frolic in the sun.
I wanted to submit my picture because when I was 18, the whitest most popular football jock in my biology class asked me after a long and sunny tennis season, “Haven’t you ever heard of sunblock?”
And this is for my niece who wishes she had blonde hair like Princess Aurora because “she’s the most beautiful.”
I’m happy to be considered “dark and lovely.”
Photo credit: Tobias Kinnebrew
Submitted by Joy Hui Lin
I’m South Indian by way of South-East Asia. I got the occasional lecture about not staying out in the sun in case I got “karruppu”( black). I ignored them because a) I thought it was ridiculous b) I was not ashamed of how my dad’s side of the family was darker-skinned. My skin colour is more than fine the way it is.
Beautiful Nandita Das!
“Haa…Here I come… I always admire Sendhil Ramamoorthy for his dusky complexion… Being dark is always a Plus for me… People do use the words that im dark and good……I never felt bad for being dark… Thats my colour„,even when im being compared with a fair personality… i think. im happy with what i have and what im….”
submitted by Anand Kumar Panneer Selva
This is one of my good friends, Jay P. He is an elitist yet politically conscious South Asian diasporic dude living in San Diego, Ca. He is very much loved by his fam in the Coalition of South Asian Peoples @ UCSD! Also, he enjoys chai and long walks on the beach…fine wine and dancing to “tu cheez badi hai mast mast”.
Growing up as the darkest granddaughter was very annoying. My family’s comments still continue. I grew up hating my complexion. I remember covering my face with baby powder as a kid, so I could be ‘white’, and then playing with my mom’s makeup. It wasn’t until my early 20s when 1 of my non-South Asian friends said “you have the perfect color” to me, that I realized that being “dark” could be pretty. Then I dated someone who would remind me very often of how beautiful my brown was. Over the years I have come to love my brown skin, and I am thankful for it. My complexion is a combination of natural selection and genetics, what could be more special?
I was born/raised in NYC, and I went to India (South) for the first time this year. I blended in there in a way I never expected. I felt proud of my ancestry, and even more proud of my skin. This summer was the first summer I did not hide out from the sun.
I am a dance teacher to many little South Asian girls, and I encourage them to love themselves for who they are. I embrace each of their unique beauties, and all I hope for is that they will too.
Thank you for making a place for us to share our stories.
-Sonya Devi, NYC