Sister Radio zine covers, courtesy: Aqui Thami
NOW ON was conceived as a call that welcomed ideas, thoughts and experiments that responded to the current crisis and its impact on the work of promoting arts and international arts exchange. Of the 100+ applications received, eight received the Now On grant. The Now On series of interviews presents the recipients of the Now On grant and their projects.
In this interview, we speak with Aqui Thami about Sister Radio, for which she received the Now On grant.
1. Could you give a brief bio of yourself?
My name is Aqui Thami. I’m an indigenous artist based in Mumbai. Centred around the culture of DIY, self-publishing and guerrilla posters, I believe in creating art that is grounded in the act of ‘doing’ and addresses political/social issues. The core of my art practice is healing as I work with experiences of marginalisation and resilience, my own and of the people I work in collaboration with.
2. What is Sister Radio?
Sister Radio is a podcast that celebrates women. In this space, we talk to sisters from all walks of life about culture and history to build and share ways of life away from the ones shaped by dominant perspectives. Through interviews and discussions, this intimate heartfelt space will help you learn how to be a sister supporter. This audio encounter will offer substitute readings of dominant narratives, where just the act of listening to sisters can be potentially transformative.
Sister Radio podcasts take place every new moon and full moon.
The first edition of Sister Radio brings together voices of Indigenous, Dalit, and Bahujan women in the cultural space with the intention to honour and celebrate their work and hopefully create a new space for healing and experiencing a different world.
3. What inspired you to apply to the Now On grant?
Now On grant for me was the perfect space to bring this offering to, I felt the call to celebrate my sisters and all the healing they bring to the world. Since the Now On grant was an invitation to respond to the current crisis, in a global pandemic I couldn’t have thought of another way to survive but through care and celebration.
4. How does your project Sister Radio promote artistic work despite the pandemic?
Every full moon and every new moon I am joined by a sister in conversation about the world, culture, art,…our stories, feelings, and thoughts. We talk about our ongoing work, advice for aspiring Indigenous, Dalit, Bahujan women culture workers, makers, artists. We talk about ways one could be a sister supporter. And what an absolute joy it has been to have my sisters in this journey, much dialogue, trust and goodwill has brought us here where we exchange memory, stories, meaning-making across cultures and borders.
5. What can we expect to see in future episodes of your podcast?
For the upcoming episodes we will have amazing Indigenous, Dalit, and, Bahujan sisters, join us. We are also launching the YouTube channel by the end of October to make the content more accessible. We are also working on a three-part zine series with the conversations from Sister Radio transcribed in English and with translations in indigenous and Indian languages. The first part of the series will go on print this month!