ZINE 

The Rights Collective Zine not only seeks to centre the lived experiences within our communities, but also to invite dialogue, critical thinking and introspection with those who engage with it. We are taking ownership of our realities and narratives, encouraging honesty and self-reflection around issues which are often kept private through fear of judgement, marginalisation or dishonour. 

 

The objective of producing a quarterly zine is to offer an opportunity for those who identify as living within the South Asian diaspora community to submit their capturings (whether that’s via articles, stories, poetry, or artwork) around a range of ever-growing themes. 

 

We seek to:

  • Move away from the idea that there is only one way to be South Asian or flattening the richness of individual experience. 

  • Push back against the romanticisation and exoticisation of the South Asian experience.

  • Challenge ourselves to move beyond the commodification and dilution of our experiences.

  • Write for ourselves, our communities and our siblings not for those who seek to engage extractively with our stories as a way to instrumentalise it for their own goals.

  • Create space for our complexity and difference as well as our multi-dimensional, messy selves.

This is a quarterly publication, launched in 2019, and now on its sixth issue. We have self published, sometimes with guest editors on topics such as community, queerness, the impact of Covid, histories and ancestry, and resilience. Please feel free to download them free below.

Edition 6: Brown Bodies

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For our 6th issue, we explore Brown Bodies in their multitudes. Our bodies are often a site of growth and pain, often without our knowing. It can be a place of comfort, home and care. Our bodies hold us, move us, sustain us. Our bodies carry memories of love and of trauma that quietly surface when we least expect, reminding us of what the body can hold.

We wanted our contributors to lean into the broadness of this topic and they most definitely delivered. Each of us knows the beautiful complexity of being a brown person in a world that doesn’t entirely understand us. Whether it’s how we are judged within spaces that should be safe or the unsolicited advice about how we should dress, sit, be. Sometimes this brings us to tears and sometimes it makes us laugh. The bountiful and visible hair on our heads, bodies and faces. How we manage our health or food. Our longing to connect. The joy we feel in our culture and clothing. The proud moments we share with our families. The frustration and disappointment when the way the world expects us to be doesn’t match our love for ourselves.

While reading this issue, we invite you to listen to this playlist curated by each of the featured writers in the Zine.

Click here to download the PDF! Find out more about our Brown Bodies Mini Course below.

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We're very excited to be hosting a mini course on brown bodies in order to create space for deeper and nuanced conversations around this topic - to learn more about what our bodies mean to us, how they are politicised and oppressed for profit and the ways in which we might resist in our own lives.

Find out more and register here.

Edition 5: Resilience

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The year 2020 will be remembered as a tipping point for many, one of the most taxing years in world history – a global pandemic took the entire world by surprise, forcing us to look at the way in which we have been living our lives. World leaders have gaslit us only to gain more power and further oppress the marginalised. The Black Lives Matters movement gained popular recognition and momentum and changed the conversation around racism forever. Many of us have come to terms with what white supremacy actually looks like and confront our own role in upholding it. 

It is within this context that we at the Rights Collective, together with guest editors South Asian Sisters Speak (SASS), wanted to showcase how our community views and embodies ‘Resilience’. As something brown women are all too familiar with, we wanted to share some of the perspectives that are often otherwise hidden in private conversations between friends.

While reading this issue, feel free to listen to this playlist curated by each of the featured writers in the Zine.
 

Click here to download the PDF!

Edition 4: Histories, Ancestry & Freedom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the 4th edition of our Zine, we explore South Asian histories. We invited authors to reflect upon our shared and individual histories and draw upon what our ancestry means to and for us today. During the month that marks the independence of India and Pakistan from British rule, we want to explore what freedom means to us today as a diaspora who still lives between identities, between cultures and, sometimes, between nations.

 

We're excited to share one of our longest zines which covers topics ranging from the impact of partition on women to the current British-Indian relationship and the present day effects of colonialism. 

 

Click here to download the PDF!

Edition 3: The C Word

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Rights Collective are proud to present the 3rd edition of our Zine. The focus of this zine is COVID-19, specifically the effect it has on the South Asian diaspora. We have been surrounded by news reports on the increased incidence of the virus within the BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) community as well as the significant impact it is having on NHS staff, many of which we know are from the South Asian community.

We wanted to create a platform for members of our community to share their experiences during these difficult times but also to use this opportunity to look to the future and imagine life after COVID-19. We have had an amazing response and feel so privileged to be able to present this art work, poetry, articles and interviews. We hope you enjoy reading the Zine! As a special gift from us to you, we have also curated an accompanying playlist over on our Spotify channel which you can enjoy while reading.

 

Click here to download the PDF!

 

Edition 2: we are colourfull

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When we started The Rights Collective, we knew we wanted to hold spaces where marginalised voices from the South Asian Diaspora were amplified into the places they needed to be heard the most. We quickly realised that this would mean grappling with the biases, stereotypes and discrimination we saw within our own communities and families first and foremost. This is one of the reasons we started the Zine, hoping to spark important conversations and ask the difficult questions within our own homes.

The 2nd edition comes together in collaboration with colourfull and Dee Jas as guest editor. We explore being queer in the South Asian Diaspora community. Having grown up in a world where calling something ‘gay’ was an insult and where that guy in Bend It Like Beckham was the closest we got to knowing a non-heterosexual South Asian person, we are proud of the progress we have started to make and hopeful for the world we live in but we know there is a lot more to be done. We hope the stories in this edition of the Zine sheds some light on these experiences and how we might do better as a community, as friends and as allies.

Click here to download the PDF!

Edition 1: Break The Silence 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we launched The Rights Collective publicly in 2019, we invited women and non-binary individuals of colour to contribute their stories for our #BreakTheSilence campaign. We asked them to share their experiences of empowerment, equality, acceptance, and support within their communities, as well as experiences of feeling disempowered, being treated unequally or being on the receiving end of violence from their communities.

 

Community can mean many things to different people so we invited people to define this for themselves with a focus on South Asian Diaspora. We work with people of colour from the Hindu Diaspora community in the UK but welcomed submissions from all South Asian women and non-binary folx. Stories could any form in any medium - poetry, photographs, paintings, video and more. We ran this campaign through Women’s History month and are working to compile all the stories into a zine.

Click here to download the PDF!

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