The opening of Ishita Srivastava’s 18-minute short film, ‘Desigirls!’, takes us into a party held for the queer South Asian community in New York City. As the documentary unfolds, we are introduced to several of these party people, including DJ Ashu, the woman who spins the saucy Bollywood tracks. The audience is even prompted to play voyeur to a support group meeting of the South Asian Lesbian and Gay Association (Salga). In ‘Desigirls!’, Srivastava—who recently graduated from the Cinema Studies and Documentary Production programme of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts—follows two queer Indian women as they negotiate their sexual and cultural identity within the larger context of being part of the diaspora.
Desigirls! will be shown at the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi at 7pm on 26 May. It will be followed by a panel discussion led by photographer and activist Sunil Gupta.