Ponni Arasu

Ponni Arasu is a Tamil Feminist activist, independent researcher, historian, activist, lawyer and actor.

Tamilarasi Anandavalli

Tamilarasi Anandavalli is currently pursuing her studies in theatre at the National School of Drama. Sports, yoga and theatre give her the space to explore her body, emotions and thoughts.  She has been acting in plays and short films for the past seven years.

Setareh Ghoreishi

Setareh Ghoreishi is a graphic designer and multidisciplinary digital media artist. After receiving her B.F.A. in Graphic Design from the University of Art in Tehran, Iran, she moved to the United States where she currently lives. In her work, she investigates cultural disparities, most specifically between the United States and Iran. She acquired her MFA in Graphic Design and developed a passion for using typography to create provocative experimental design installations. With her second MFA in Art and Technology, Setareh mobilizes video art installation and digital technology to explore the role of visual design in the interaction of cultural and…

Anna Selmeczi

Anna Selmeczi is a lecturer and the programme convener of the Masters in Southern Urbanism at the African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town. Her work is grounded in social and political theory, and focuses on the connections between orders of knowledge and urban spaces, and how various forms of popular politics contest and transform these orders and the injustices they sustain. Anna’s current research and teaching focuses on urban theory, embodied research methods and pedagogies, and the processes and practices of knowledge production in urban studies.

A. Revathi

A. Revathi is transfeminist activist, writer and a crusader for LGBTIQA+ community in India. Her books The Truth About Me, A life in trans activism and Our Bodies Our Selves (Unarvum Uruvamum) are pioneering works on trans lives.  Her career as a writer won her a place on the Columbia University Butler Library banner.  She finds theatre a powerful art form.

A. Mangai

A. Mangai is the pseudonym of Dr. V. Padma. She retired as Associate Professor in English from Stella Maris College, Chennai. She has been actively engaged in Tamil theatre as an actor, Director and Playwright for almost three decades. She hopes that her academic, activist and artistic selves can find a vibrant intersection. Her fields of interest are theatre, gender and translation studies. Her passion is to concentrate on community theatre – to make theatre the voice of the voiceless, or the marginalized.  She has directed over thirty -five plays so far. All of them deal with women –centered themes and characters. Her book Acting Up:…

Marappachi Theatre

Marappachi is registered as a not-for-profit cultural organization. Founded by Late Poet Inquilab as the Founding President in 2006, it attempts to practice art and theatre that is relevant and contemporary. A. Mangai has been with the group right from its inception. The group addresses deeply ingrained prejudices in our society like caste, class and gender. The group works with students, art practitioners and organisations and movements to address social transformation through theatre. Some of the major productions of the group are Inquilab’s Kurinjippattu and V. Geetha’s Kaala Kanavu, a docu-drama on the history of feminist thought in India. Marappachi…

Surafel Wondimu Abebe

Raised by a single mother who is a generous human being, indefatigable worker, and art lover nurtured by oral performances, Surafel was educated and supported by his ‘yaltemarech’ (‘uneducated’) parent. It was after he had committed himself to socially conscious artistic, journalistic, and intellectual services at notable independent and public theatres and media houses that he later joined Addis Ababa University (AAU). He then formally studied literature, politics, cultural studies, and performance historiography. Surafel brings in his multi-genre methods and invites also non-academic intellectuals to the classes he teaches. Currently, he is the Inaugural Okwui Enwezor postdoctoral fellow at The Africa…

Esmae Heveron

Esmae is a graduate from the University of Minnesota who earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies while minoring in Communications. The interconnectedness of politics of power, knowledge-making, and the pedagogical potential of stories serves the basis for her research. Drawing on her experience in Richa Nagar’s graduate course Stories, Bodies, Movements, she explores the politics of solidarity-making that are ever-shifting, and intertwined with the structural and systemic realities we live in.

‘Stories, Bodies, Movements’ Class, Fall 2017

On Stage: Kriti Budhiraja, Devan Dupre, Esmae Heveron, Keavy McFadden, Sara Musaifer, Richa Nagar, Jason Noer, Beaudelaine Pierre, Veronica Quillien, Julie Santella, Maria Schwedhelm, Laura Seithers, Veera Vasandani, Colin Wingate Artistic Direction, Sound, & Lights: Tarun Kumar Course Conceptualization, Organization, & Facilitation: Richa Nagar

‘Stories, Bodies, Movements’ Class, Spring 2017

On Stage: Siddharth Bharath, Jada Brown, Devleena Chatterjee, Esmae Heveron*, Rebecca Lieser*, Sara Musaifer, Richa Nagar*, Naimah Petigny*, Nithya Rajan, Lisa Santosa*, Maria Schwedhelm, Alaina Szostkowski The scenes, ‘Wall of Names’ and ‘Ramallah Goddam’ seeded in an in-class workshop with: Esther Ouray Artistic Direction: Tarun Kumar Course Conceptualization, Organization, & Facilitation: Richa Nagar *Rebecca Lieser, Naimah Petigny, and Lisa Santosa participated in the creation of the play in Spring 2017 and performed in it at the end of the semester on 8 May 2017. Esmae Heveron and Richa Nagar performed the roles played by Rebecca, Naimah, and Lisa when the…

Tia-Simone Gardner

Tia-Simone Gardner is an interdisciplinary artist, educator, and Black feminist scholar. Working primarily with drawing, images, archives, and spaces, Gardner traces Blackness in landscapes, above and below the grounds surface. Ritual, disobedience, geography and geology are specters and recurring themes in her work. Gardner grew up in Fairfield, Alabama, across the street from Birmingham and learned to see landscape, capitalist extraction, and containment, through this place. She lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Maria Cecilia Schwedhelm

Maria Cecilia comes from Mexico City and from stories of wandering ancestors. She comes from barbacoa on Sundays at the big house surrounded by fences crossed only by roosters and wild cats. In her research, Maria tries to dig holes on those walls, discover weak spots, climb ladders, or be a cat to peek, listen to, learn from and with other people, other stories and languages far and near her own. She is currently facilitating workshops on language reclamation through arts and performance-based pedagogies in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Mona Bhan

Mona Bhan is the Ford Maxwell Professor of South Asian Studies and Associate Professor of Anthropology at Syracuse University. She is a political and environmental anthropologist with research specializations in militarization, wars, and border subjectivities; ecology and infrastructure; and resource sovereignty and resistance politics in Kashmir. Over the past two decades, her work with  diverse communities who live along the densely militarized Line-of-Control (LoC) in Gurez, Bandipora, Leh, and Kargil, has shaped her research questions and practice, as well as the ways she envisions anthropological commitments to public and engaged work. She is also deeply invested in building meaningful local and global solidarities and works closely with civil society activists in…

Celina Su

Celina Su

Celina Su is the Marilyn J. Gittell Chair in Urban Studies and a Professor of Political Science at the City University of New York. Her publications include Streetwise for Book Smarts: Grassroots Organizing and Education Reform in the Bronx (Cornell University Press), Landia (a book of poetry, Belladonna* Press), and pieces in the New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, n+1, and elsewhere. Her work focuses on everyday struggles for collective governance, centering economic democracy and racial justice. In questioning hierarchies of expertise when a state of emergency is no state of exception, when to become legible is to be tamed into a taxable animal, she wishes to offer these…

Alia Jeraj

Alia Jeraj

Alia Jeraj (she/they) is a Twin Cities based artist and educator. Though her background is in Western classical vocal music, Alia has shifted her musical focus towards folk musics, especially songs of Gujarat. She currently studies with Ritika Ganguly. In 2018 Alia was awarded a Next Step Fund to pursue research on the music and stories of her family’s history in India and East Africa. As a 2020 Naked Stages Fellow, Alia is creating and will perform a one-person show about culture, memory, and migration. Alia’s collaborations include Artemis, Nanilo, Mixed Precipitation, and Our Space is Spoken For. When not singing, writing,…

Ritika Ganguly

Ritika Ganguly

Ritika Ganguly, PhD., is a Minneapolis-based composer, anthropologist, and grants consultant, born and raised in New Delhi, India. Her consulting practice and artistic practice both strive for an equality based on difference, rather than on the similarity of things, people, and knowledges.  Ritika was commissioned as a composer by The Cedar Cultural Center in 2016, received the Naked Stages award in 2017, and an MRAC Next Step award in 2018 for her research and new musical work in Baul (Bengali Sufi music/poetry). She has trained in multiple genres within Bengali music and in contemporary Indian musical theater. She recently received a Minnesota…

Agléška Cohen-Rencountre

Agléška Cohen-Rencountre is enrolled in Lower Brule Sioux Tribe. Their work is on Indigenous Urbanism, from a Critical Native Feminism perspective. They are a PhD Fellow in American Studies at the University of Minnesota. They grew up in Rapid City, South Dakota.

Coral Bijoux

Coral Bijoux, a South African artist, makes visible the work that she has engaged with for many years: observing, challenging, documenting life in a transitioning world amidst political and social upheavals, quiet moments and life experiences. An auto-ethnographic focus draws near her ideas and concepts through a visual language which is fecund with metaphor and symbol, textured surfaces echoing layered meanings. Her artwork, curatorial practice and projects center on these experiences and observations using predominantly installation, sculpture, drawings, photo-montages and paintings. Learn more about Coral and her artwork here:

Emina Buzinkic

Ph.D. student, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of MinnesotaTransbalkan solidarityImagining Transnational Solidarities Research Circle Fellow (ITSRC) Emina explores barefoot the intersections of refuge-ness, racist and classist formations, education-scapes, and political resistances in solidarity. Her work revolves around the critical understanding of border regimes through interplay of the police violence and refugees’ resistance to restrictions of freedom of movement. Emina’s research focuses on the inscriptions of regimes of criminalization of refugee youth in schooling and everyday life as a result of state surveillance and transnational securitization politics. Emina is deeply annoyed by capitalistic and neoliberal organization of the economy of…

Samira Musleh

PhD Candidate, Department of Communication Studies, University of Minnesota Samira Musleh is a PhD Candidate in Communication Studies with a minor in Feminist and Critical Sexuality Studies. Her research interest lies in the intersection(s) of gender, religion, and decoloniality. Samira’s current work focuses on unpaid labor, social and biological reproduction, non-capitalist economies, marriage and family laws, and Muslim societies as a way of questioning dominant notions of work and public/private dichotomies and conceptualizing equitable and non-exploitative conditions for domestic labor. 

Abraham Seda

Abraham is a PhD candidate in history at the University of Minnesota. His work focuses on sport, recreation and leisure in colonial Zimbabwe and Africa. Through his research, Abraham conceptualizes African modifications of boxing not just as a protest or resistance, but as a fundamental rejection of the aspirational ideals of western pastimes and games. Under colonial rule, boxing and ideas of ‘sportsmanship’ were instrumentalized as tools of cultural imperialism and the creation of the ‘ideal colonial subject’. Abraham’s research articulates how African boxing ultimately became a potent form of cultural expression which contested colonial notions of ‘fair play’ and…

Sima Shakhsari

Sima’s work has been shaped by experiences of living through a revolution, a war, and displacement. Multiple itineraries, from Tehran to San Francisco, Oakland, Toronto, Houston, suburbs of Boston, Philadelphia, and Minneapolis have inspired Sima’s activism, poetry, and scholarship on immigration, queerness, refugeedom, and geopolitics. Sima’s commitment to social justice is informed by the relationship between people’s struggles transnationally. To learn more about Sima’s work, click ‘Sima’ above.

Elizabeth Sumida Huaman

The granddaughter of humble farmers with great love for their homelands, Indigenous educational researcher Elizabeth Sumida Huaman works to fulfill her ancestors’ visions for a beautiful world. She is Wanka/Quechua from the Mantaro Valley, Peru, and associate professor of Comparative and International Development Education at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Her work focuses on the relationship between Indigenous lands and natural resources, cultural practices, and in and out-of-school educational development in the Americas.

Hale Konitshek

Hale is a lecturer and PhD candidate in Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Minnesota. Situated between political theory and feminist philosophy, their research attends to the junctions and conflicts of nationalism, archives, exhumation and testimony to document and name violence in Guatemala. They have been a gender violence victim advocate in St. Paul, Minnesota for four years. In addition to advocacy, research, and teaching, Hale is a creative writer and musician.

Beaudelaine Pierre

Beaudelaine Pierre est née et a grandi en Haïti. Son premier roman Testaman a remporté le premier prix du Concours de Roman en Créole du journal Bon Nouvèl. En 2012, elle a coédité avec Nataša Ďurovičová, How to Write an Earthquake, une anthologie sur le tremblement de terre du 12 janvier 2010 en Haïti. Pierre vit aujourd’hui à Saint-Paul, Minnesota avec ses deux enfants, Max en Annie.

Zaynab Asmal

Zaynab Asmal is a History Access scholar at the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Cape Town. She is currently completing her third comic book, this time for her masters in history, focusing on social science pedagogy in secondary schools. Outside of the university space, she can be found organising cosplay events at pop culture events around Cape Town or working on her book.  

Koni Benson

Koni Benson is a lecturer in the Department of History at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town, South Africa. Since 2006 she has been coproducing life histories of self-organization and unfolding political struggles of collective resistance against displacement and for access to land and public services (such as water, housing, and education) in South Africa. She is committed to creative approaches to history that link art, activism, and African history, and draws on critical approaches to people’s history projects, popular education, and feminist collaborative research praxis in her work with various student, activist, and cultural collectives in southern…

Abhay Xaxa

Abhay Xaxa was born and brought up in Jashpur District of Chhattisgarh. An Adivasi Rights Activist and Sociologist by training, Abhay has worked with grassroots organisations, campaigns, NGO’s, media, and research institutions in different capacities on the issue of Adivasi land rights in central India. He is also the National Convenor at National Campaign on Adivasi Rights.

Antonádia Borges

Antonádia Borges is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Brasilia. She does research along with popular ethnographers who dedicate their daily lives to theorize, understand and challenge capitalism and State capture. In places like Brazil and South Africa, it has been among young people but mainly women that she has acknowledged how modernist and developmentalist machines enhance racism and segregation. Her main effort is to teach and spread challenging perspectives and diverging political stances from peripheral worlds and ontologies on issues like land, housing, and education.

Janani Eswar

Janani is the co-founder of GRIN, a social enterprise that plays to connect children to nature. At the age of 12, Janani stepped out of mainstream education and started homeschooling with her family. In the journey of unlearning, she explored the philosophies of Nai Talim, J. Krishnamurthy, John Holt and many more. She spent the next four years exploring theatre, communication skills, English Literature, Visual Arts and Psychology. She mentored under Dr.Ganesh Babu of FRLHT and Karthikeyan Srinivasan in developing Naturalist studies. At 16, she started working with ArtyPlantz, running programs to inspire people to love plants. Very quickly she…

Daanish Mustafa

Daanish Mustafa is a Professor in Critical Geography, at the Department of Geography, King’s College, London. His research interests have been in water resources, environmental hazards, development and critical geographies of violence and terror. He has published extensively on these topics in peer-reviewed academic journals as well as in popular publication outlets. He has in particular been interested in how social theoretical insights can contribute towards pragmatic pathways for emancipatory politics and struggles, especially in the context of access to water and vulnerability to hazards. Geographically his research has been on South Asia, but he has also undertaken funded research…

Josinelma Rolande

Josinelma Rolande is a doctoral student in Anthropology from the University of Brasilia and Professor at IFMA – Maranhão Institute of Education, Science and Technology. She holds a master’s degree in Social Sciences and a degree in Artistic Education, with a degree in Fine Arts, from the Federal University of Maranhão. She has been doing research in the area of ​​Indigenous Ethnology.

Raquel Chaves

Raquel Chaves is a Tupinambá indigenous. She is a doctoral student in  Anthropology from University of Brasilia. She holds a master’s degree in Botanic.

Matheus Caetano

Matheus Caetano is an undergraduate student of Anthropology at the University of Brasilia. He does research in the area of ​​ethnobiography and is interested in the relations between psychology, literature and anthropology.

Sarah Almeida

Sarah Almeida holds a master’s degree in sociology and anthropology from Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and a degree in anthropology from University of Brasilia. She has done research on images and bodies and leads her academic and personal interests to think about new and other counter-narratives.

Ola Saad Znad

Ola is an architect, practicing architecture in both fields of design and research. Ola is currently working as cultural representative in Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities. Ola was born in Baghdad and left Iraq because of the war when she was 10 years old. She moved to Bahrain with her family, where she continued her education and graduated with honors from University of Bahrain in 2018. During the course of her studies, she grew a deep interest in urban design and cities. Honoring her Iraqi roots, Ola has designed an urban pedestrian bridge in Baghdad as her final year…

Katayoun Amjadi

Katayoun is an Iranian-born and Minneapolis-based artist. Her art is an attempt to understand the relationship between past and present, tradition and modernity, and individual versus collective identity, as well as to spur discussion about our understanding of time and the tangled roots of our histories.

Vishal Jamkar

Born in a picturesque small town in coastal Maharashtra, Vishal travelled places and themes to find meaning of his identity in relation to society, and he is yet to arrive at any shore. Vishal is a technocrat turned community-mobiliser turned researcher working on issues of caste, indigeneity, forest, and livelihoods – especially how these identities and themes get subsumed in broad growth and development paradigms.    Vishal has worked with a non-profit in India, PRADAN, and with indigenous and Dalit women’s federations and cooperatives in Central India. He is currently pursuing his graduate studies from Humphrey School of Public Affairs,…

Jacinta Kerketta

Jacinta Kerketta is a poet, writer, and freelance journalist, belonging to an Oraon Adivasi community of West Singhbhum district. She writes in Hindi. In her poems, Jacinta highlights the injustices committed on the Adivasi communities, along with their struggles. Her poems are also important cultural and artistic documents of Adivasi worldviews. Jacinta is the author of two bi-lingual (Hindi and English) full-length collections of poems – Angor (Adivani, Kolkata) and Jadon Ki Zameen (Bharatiya Jnanpith, New Delhi). She sits on the editorial board of AGITATE! Unsettling Knowledges.

Sophie Oldfield

University of Cape Town and University of Basel Professor of Urban StudiesAfrican Centre for Cities, University of Cape TownUrban Studies, University of Basel Sophie Oldfield co-designed and now teaches in two new innovative urban studies post-graduate programs. Her research explores informality and the politics of urban governance, paying close attention to political practice and everyday urban geographies and ways in which citizens and organized movements engage and contest the state. Built in varied forms of collaborative research practice, her research challenges how academics work in and between ‘university’ and ‘community’. Commitment to this collaborative approach lies at the heart of…

Rita Ponce De León

Visual Artist Nací en Lima, Perú, 1982. Vivo en la Ciudad de México. Trabajo principalmente a partir de experiencias de diálogo dando lugar a reflexiones conjuntas acerca de la realidad que nos atañe. Me involucro en situaciones que permitan, a través de procesos artísticos y de aprendizaje, la generación de vínculos humanos francos, aún sean éstos efímeros, para lo cual me han sido útiles los encuentros intuitivos que el cuerpo permite. Me he acercado a prácticas como la danza Butoh (de origen japonés) y en general al trabajo en talleres  que abordan cuerpo y movimiento como detonantes de conocimiento. Decanto esta…

Ahmed K. Ali

My name is Ahmed, named after my grandmother’s heart. I grew up in a village with a Persian name, palm trees that disturbs clouds and lots of sand. I have found roads that felt like infinity with writing, I began to walk barefoot on these roads and I never stopped walking.

Richa Nagar

Professor of the CollegeRussell M. and Elizabeth M. Bennett Chair in ExcellenceBeverly and Richard Fink Professor in Liberal ArtsUniversity of Minnesota, Twin Cities Richa writes, organizes, performs, shares, and builds in whatever languages, genres, and modes of learning are available to her. She has studied and worked in the US since 1989, but feels most alive when she is immersed in the thick honey of the everyday Urdu, Hindi, and Awadhi that she grew up with in the narrow lanes of Old Lucknow. An anti-disciplinary border-crosser, she believes in agitating stabilized ways of knowing and telling through collective creativity. Richa…

Colin W. Wingate

Student, English literature, University of Minnesota Colin W. Wingate is student of English literature at the University of Minnesota. Drawing inspiration from Black Feminist Thought, Black Studies, Caribbean Thought, Black Queer studies, and Black Performance studies, his work looks at how Black peoples improvise their being (via writing/movement), to break with the genre of “human.” His research ask how can we read invention/improvisation as imagining towards a new alternative life-forms and ways of being that not only unsettles colonial/anti-Black reality, but also our own investment in being human entangled in resisting death and achieving freedom.

Ericka A. Lara Ovares

MD, MPH student in Public Health Policy and Administration Ericka is a physician from Costa Rica who has dedicated her early career to the research of different illnesses in the field of Ears, Nose and Throat at the University of Minnesota Otolaryngology Department and the Ears, Nose and Throat Clinic of Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC). She is currently a second-year master’s student at the School of Public Health pursuing her degree in Public Health Policy and Administration and is an Interdisciplinary Center for Global Change (ICGC) Fellow Scholar. During her time as a student at the University of Minnesota,…

Sarah Saddler

PhD Candidate and Doctoral Fellow, Department of Theatre and Dance, University of Minnesota Sarah Saddler is a PhD Candidate and Doctoral Fellow in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Minnesota. Her primary research examines the use of theatrical performance in the global workplace, with a focus on contemporary India. Her work, which tracks how multinational corporations deploy dramatic traditions and techniques in the service of human capital formation, can be seen in RIDE: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance (2017) and in Precariousness and Performances of Welfare (Routledge, 2019).

Dia Da Costa

Professor of Social Justice and International Studies in Education, Department of Educational Policy Studies, University of Alberta Dia Da Costa’s research analyzes the complex relationship of activism in contemporary India to state violence and development discourses. She is the author of Politicizing Creative Economy: Activism and a Hunger called Theatre (University of Illinois Press, 2016) and Development Dramas: Reimagining Rural Political Action in Eastern India(Routledge, 2009). Her recent research has moved toward the study of the ways in which South Asian communities in Canada name, challenge, and reproduce state violence.

Pramila Vasudevan

Choreographer, Founder and Artistic Director of Aniccha Arts Pramila Vasudevan is a choreographer and a creator of community rooted/routed transdisciplinary work. Vasudevan is the founder and Artistic Director of Aniccha Arts (2004), an experimental arts collaborative producing site-specific performances that examine agency, voice, and group dynamics within community histories, institutions, and systems. Vasudevan is a 2017 Guggenheim fellow and a 2016 McKnight fellow in choreography. Major influences and teachers include Dr. Bala Nandakumar, Roshan Vajifdar Ghosh, Ranee Ramaswamy, Nirmala Rajasekar, Dr. Ananya Chatterjea, Piotr Szyhalski, and Steve Dietz.  In addition to her own practice, Vasudevan is the Director of Naked…

Sara Musaifer

Ph.D. CandidateComparative & International Development Education (CIDE)University of Minnesota Sara was raised along the shores of two archipelagoes, Bahrain and the Philippines, with songs and stories of moon-swallowing whales, mountains bursting into flames, and giants reigning over ancient plains. Focusing on K-12 education in Bahrain, Sara’s research crosses multiple borders to bring into question the intertwining histories and structural conditions producing a particular knowledge about the desired girl citizen-subject. Through girls’ enactments of political agency and imaginations of success, Sara also traces how they creatively engage with this knowledge and move past its rationales and scripts. In her other life,…