Category Archives: Articles by Others

Steampunk India Interview in DESIblitz Magazine

The Steampunk Universe anthology, edited by Sarah Hans, is gaining momentum; more news to follow very soon!

Meanwhile, I spoke to Fatima Farah of Indian magazine DESIblitz about my background and what inspires me when writing inclusive Victoriana fiction: Suna Dasi Talks Short Stories and Steampunk India 

 

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Filed under Articles, Articles by Others, Books, Culture, Diaspora, Diversity, Hidden Exclusion, History, India, MultiCulturalism in Steampunk, MultiCuturalism, Music, Steampunk, Uncategorized, Victorian, Victorian PoC, Victoriana, Women, Writing

Other Projects: PandoraFest!

Beside Steampunk India and singing with Erin Bennett (my ‘day job’) , I am a founder of female positive music festival Pandora Fest. In the spirit of signal boosting on all frequencies, here is a recent article on the event by music blog Drunken Werewolf.

(Image: Erin Bennett & The EB Band (ft. Anna Fraser on drums and myslf on backing vox)

The festival has its inaugural launch next month, on July 16th in Scotland and features a great variety of artists and genres. There is opportunity to camp, glamp, browse the market stall, eat, drink and be merry! Everyone is welcome!

Though not strictly Steampunk related, the event certainly hits the independently minded, DIY button…And of course, if you are based in UK, perhaps you might like to attend..

Coming soon: news on the two publications that will feature Steampunk India short stories this year.

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Truancy Issue 2 Release 

It was a true pleasure to be part of the Roundtable: Intersections between South Asian Folklore, Myth and Lived Experience feature in Truancy Issue 2.
  
The questions and answers begetting more questions and answers provided challenging, wonderful food for thought. It was fascinating, moving and inspiring to read my fellow participants’ replies. Some of the resultant ponderings and conclusions didn’t make it into the (already blissfully long) article. These were the more personal ideas regarding diaspora, identity and place, coupled with the perceived legacy of folklore, myth and legends from various cultures that, for me, ended in the following.

Though I am nostalgic for something unexperienced when I yearn for being part of Indian culture in a way that was denied to me when I came into the world, I am simultaneously very aware that this is a type of… romantic affectation. 

There is no conflict of identity. I am very happily myself. Or rather; it has been my privilege to have had the space to become so, by trial and error, through joys and woes. That is solely the result of growing up with the cultural freedoms I enjoyed. Had I been born and raised within my own culture, bound by what I know to be the stifling constraints of my heritage, I would most certainly not have been able to become a touring singer, nor an all out, woman-loving equality activist, embodying nothing resembling religion, though you could argue I have an abiding, possibly worshipful wonder for science and nature. As a friend affectionately said once: You are a Sagan pagan. I’ll take that.

I adore being a fusion of cultures, a true citizen of the world – much overused as the term is. While I may not speak much Hindi at all, I speak three languages comfortably and a further two adequately. This roundtable, while actually being about folklore and inherited myths, has been excellent for crystallising some thoughts that have been swimming in the bottom of my mind like little blind fishes. I have long wondered whether all this superimposed angst of cultural belonging, or the judgment from people both Western and of countries you are ‘really from’ (recognise that question anyone? Folk always seem dissatisfied when I say The Netherlands!) may partly be a strange type of jealousy. Why not have it all? Why not have cake and eat it? 

Why not?

Nothing has been taken from me in that respect, rather a melding of cultures that has given my life that many more dimensions. Including the rich veins of mythology, fairy tales and folklore from more worlds than just one. I hope the roundtable gives insight and enjoyment of the different minds and backgrounds coming at those questions.

Plus, this issue contains wonderful fiction and artwork. Enjoy!   

 

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Filed under Articles, Articles by Others, Culture, Diaspora, Diversity, India, MultiCuturalism, Writing

Roger Whitson, PhD. on the 19th Century, Digital Humanities & Steampunk.

2015/01/img_0909.jpg Thanks to Roger Whitson PhD. at Washingon State University for the link to his Third Year Pre-Tenure talk on The 19th Century and Digital Humanities, in which some of my fellow Steampunks and Steampunk India are featured:

2015/01/img_0908.png (Extract). “[Slide 13] ….I contrast this sense of technology and empire, which sees Western society as the center of the world communicating to its margins with the rise of multicultural steampunk – which fractures the Britishness of steampunk and searches for historical alternatives. This is what I call a digital appropriation of Victorian elements that are manipulated into different cultural histories. On the left is Suna Dasi, who says on her website “as a steampunk afficiando, I found myself wishing for more roles occupied by Victorian women in the steampunk fiction I was reading: women who were less hampered by the framework of the society damsel. Being of Indian heritage sparked the desire to see Indian women break out of their mother of pearl cages and into steampunk adventures.” Several steampunk designers look to different historical frames when imagining technology. The top right is an illustration taken from descriptions of submarines in the Shakuna Vimana (a 1700 BCE Sanskrit manuscript that imagines magical flying machines that decimate enemy cities). Indian steampunk is taking inspiration from these sources. On the bottom right is the Asian steampunk designer James Ng, whose exhibited his blueprints for Chinese steampunk airships at numerous different conventions and art exhibitions.” The full transcipt of talk and slides can be found at http://www.rogerwhitson.net.

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The Clockwork Watch London Gazette Latest

A background article for the Clocking Off Late Nighttime Event at The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich on the 13th of November.

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Tickets at http://www.rmg.co.uk/whats-on/events/clocking-off-late

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Special Limited Edition of Clockwork Watch Newspaper to be Printed for Clocking Off Late!

Extra Extra! Read All About it!

Via The Clockwork Watch: The Transmedia Experience comes this missive, hot off the press:

“We are printing a limited edition of our fictional newspaper ‘The London Gazette’ for those coming to ‘The Tinku Diaries’, next Thursday, at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.

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This will be our new immersive theatrical experience, and it forms part of the museum’s Clocking Off Late series.”

Meanwhile, the Tinku Diaries themselves are to reveal many underlying secrets…

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Tickets Still Available from:

http://www.rmg.co.uk/whats-on/events/clocking-off-late

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Via Anachronauts Digest: Clocking Off Late Presents: The Tinku Diaries

The Tinku Diaries is an interactive journey of discovery, taking participants deeper into the ‘make believe’ Steampunk world of Clockwork Watch, a story told through live events, graphic novels, an online newspaper, and film.

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Read the full article: http://www.clockworkwatch.org/2014/10/27/clocking-off-late-presents-the-tinku-diaries-2/

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Artwork by Jennie Gyllblad for graphic novel ‘Clockwork Watch: The Arrival’ by Yomi Ayeni and Corey Brotherson

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Diversity in Steampunk – Exclusion from Inclusion

Update: In documenting the journey of merging East and West more equally within Steampunk, the below post will remain visible. It needs to be clarified however that as far as the interviewees are concerned, the situation has been resolved to satisfaction and all Steampunk ties are intact.

The beauty of Steampunk, among other things, is that everyone is dedicated to civilised communication; the frankness and support of those involved have been a perfect example of this.

Original Post (04/09/2014)

Steampunk India’s letter to the Independent on Sunday regarding the New Review Steampunk feature from the 31st of August:

The great irony. To be asked by the Independent on Sunday for an interview on MultiCulturalism in Steampunk at the Steampunk Summer Fete Event in Greenwich.
And a white lady pretty much pushed in and said to the journalist ‘do you want to interview us both together?’ (I must say that she was also set to be interviewed on her own subject within Steampunk).

To see the article finally come out, and I am not in it all (not whining here, editorial decisions have to be made), and to see a huge picture of the white lady, with *her* quote about multiculturalism and inclusion in Steampunk, but not my perspective, is a massive dose of ‘Same Old, Same Old.’

I am aware this sounds like sour grapes, but that is really not what I’m saying.

It’s not just the fashion that has been transported through time; to hear a white person make my point must feel how a black performer felt watching The Black and White Minstrels.

I’m sure its all a massive coincidence. Culture is built from an avalanche of coincidences.

Best Regards,
Suna Dasi
Steampunk India

P.S. The event organiser, Yomi Ayeni, was also wholly absent from the article: strange in itself. Total coincidence he was the only black person.

Below: Writer Suna Dasi at the Greenwich Steampunk Summer Fete, acting the part of Tinku Ranbir as portrayed in The Clockwork Watch. Artwork by Jennie Gyllblad. Photo by Ziggy Gaji. (www.clockworkwatch.com)

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An interview with Steampunk India by author Khaalidah

imageThe interview was conducted a while ago, going more in depth into personal background and creative projects and what drives this project of bringing Indian based Steampunk into the genre specifically.

http://www.khaalidah.com/?p=1351

Khaalidah is an author based in America and her involvement in Steampunk was, among other things, articles for the Steampunk Hands Around the World project in February.

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By Arabella Faye Ducara: “WHAT DOES STEAMPUNK MEAN?”

“WHAT DOES STEAMPUNK MEAN?” – Media Package of Awesome Information.

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