What is the idea of “blackness”? Is literature able to foster global solidarity among oppressed groups in different socio-cultural spaces? If it is possible to envisage an Afrofuturistic world, can dalit futurisms exist, too?

“Racial inequality in America has its parallel in caste inequality in India even though by definition, race and caste are not the same thing. The story of one struggle for social justice can illuminate the pitfalls and prospects of success of another.”- Rajesh Sampath, Assistant Professor of the Philosophy of Justice, Rights, and Social Change, Brandeis University


‘Blackness’ much like the ‘sick woman’ trope has different connotations in different spaces and communities. The black person in the West faces racial oppression while the dalit/bahujan/adivasi individual in India falls prey to casteism.

Ananya Ray, from Jadavpur University has invited marginalized poets and activists from the dalit/ bahujan/adivasi and black communities to a three- day international collaborative poetry workshop which aimed to start conversations around the two systems of oppression- casteism and racism, through resistance literature from both communities. These experimental and prompt-based workshops helped poets and activists from around the world come together on a digital platform to add their voices to the discourses surrounding the idea of “blackness” in different cultural contexts and spaces. The participants explored the idea of race, caste and intersectionality through personal narratives and resistance literature.

Ananya is now working on building a global network for poets around the world to collectively and digitally connect and write pamphlets reimagining relationships and narratives on race, state and systems of oppression.