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Coming Soon in 2017: Steampunk India News

A  belated Happy 2017 to all!
This year there are several music, film and writing projects in the works. While I’m quietly tinkering away at a book, I am pleased to confirm the inclusion of Steampunk India short story Unmade in the Steampunk Writers Around the World Anthology, by Edinburgh based Luna Press Publishing. The anthology is a direct result of Kevin D. Steil‘s annual Steampunk Hands Around the World project. The project connected writers from across the globe, with the result that some of them joined forces to create an anthology of non-Western Steampunk fiction. The editors, Paulo Ramirez-Villaseñor and Josué Ramos, found themselves on a quest for the ideal publishing company and landed on Luna. Contributors besides the two editors include Milton Davis, Ray Dean, Fabio Fernandes, Aníbal J. Rosario Planas, Petra Slováková, Marcus R. Gilman, César Santivañez and Elaine Vilar Madruga.
Release date to be confirmed.
Meanwhile, USA based editor Sarah Hans and Alliteration Ink publisher Steven Saus ran a successful Kickstarter campaign for their Steampunk Universe anthology.
The book, a follow-up to Steampunk World, aims to highlight fiction that includes disabled and aneurotypical characters. It will feature Steampunk India story Internal Devices, which focuses on the carer aspect of being in an LGBT relationship with a disabled partner, in the guise of a swashbuckling adventure.
Release date to be confirmed.
(Cover art for Steampunk Universe, by James Ng.)

In other news: it’s studio time. We are working hard on Erin Bennett‘s upcoming album SXC, it’s honestly a joy to work with someone whose songwriting flies as hard and fierce as this Texan belle’s does! Here is a foretaste, music video ‘Cold & Still’ 

(Photos and Video by Art Attack Films)

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We will be hitting the road again in March, keep an eye on Erin’s site for gig dates near you…

Electronica artist Krow is also spreading her creative wings and while live performances will remain elusively rare, brace yourself for the second studio album which is currently under construction. Pagan female rawness at its finest.

(Photo taken at PandoraFest 2016 by Boudicca Records)

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As usual, I will be as active as I can furthering equality/normality in the Creative Industries across the disciplines I work in. Plans are forming for a second edition of female-positive music festival PandoraFest which saw its successful launch in July last year. Please keep an eye on any and all channels mentioned above for updates on publication dates, album release dates, gig dates, writing announcements and more!

May you year be filled with creative ways forward towards the horizon of your choice,

Suna Dasi

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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

Pandora Fest: An Inspiration To Other Girls

Ana Hine of Artificial Womb Zine covers PandoraFest’s Launch Year! Steampunk news to follow hot on the heels of this beautifully supportive piece on my other endeavours.

Artificial Womb

IMG_7792Well, Pandora Fest needs to happen again next year. The eclectic festival, which aims to celebrate women-led music, took place last month at Duncarron Medieval Village near Stirling. Although the amount of festival attendees was small, the line-up was impressively varied and the whole event had a cozy, friendly vibe.

Many of the artists were passionate about the politics behind the event. Vodun front-woman Chantal Brown explained: “It’s needed, it’s necessary. Until things are equal, either take a seat or support it.”

The London-based three-piece have just released their first album Possession and their live set demonstrated the power of their heavy rock, afro-centric sound. “It’s a celebration of the religion of voodoo, the people who practice it and its history,” says Chantal. “The last few weeks have been really, politically, horrible – with people feeling disconnected and turning against each other. We’re trying to take it back. Saying that…

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August 8, 2016 · 16:29

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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Filed under Articles, Articles by Others, Culture, Events, Feminism, Media, Music, Music, Music Festival, Steampunk, Uncategorized, Website, Women

Who is your favourite Shakespearean woman?

By Anna Kamaralli – Favourite Shakespeare Women: an article written for ShakespeareTwentyScore.org on International Women’s Day 2016.

Flaming Moth

All has been quiet on this blog recently, because the action is going on over at ShakespeareTwentyScore.org but I wanted to cross-post my International Women’s Day piece from over there, just in case anyone would like to share thoughts on Shakespeare’s female characters in the comments.

While we don’t have anything like as many to choose from, the smaller numbers of female characters in Shakespeare’s plays means the ones who are there tend to be the vivid splashes of colour in a field of grey Lords. Be they virtuous, evil, complex or intermittently disturbingly underwritten, they all do tend to be memorable.

Judi Dench, very young, in medieval garb. Judi Dench as the Princess of France in Henry V

Do you favour the ingenues, the grand queens, or the lowly comic matrons?

Katharine Hepburn in puffy blouse holding a mask on a stick, next to masked man. Katharine Hepburn as Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing

Rosalind in As You Like It was probably Shakespeare’s most popular heroine for a long…

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Season’s Greetings from Steampunk India

Christmas is close, how lovely! It’s nearly time to wrap up for the holidays. 

The last deadline of the year is looming: an article about Indian Steampunk for the next edition of SciFi Romance Quarterly. 2016 will see the release of the Steampunk Universe anthology edited by Sarah Hans, featuring my latest story, Internal Devices. I will be contributing to The SciFi and Fantasy Network and am excited about my involvement in a writing project instigated by fellow Steampunk Hands Around the World participants, which has been brewing for some time. February will of course see the 2016 edition of Steampunk Hands Around the World itself: the annual global effort to connect as many people across as many cultures through Steampunk as possible by local events, blog tours, themed articles, exclusive artwork and interviews and much more. Keep a weather eye on the Airship Ambassador’s site for details.

Work is ever ongoing for the Steampunk India-verse itself; short stories – and ,eventually, a book – are mapped out. I will delve into other genre writings as well as ongoing music projects. I will continue to work towards gender -and LGBTI equality in all creative industries

So please, keep your aural induction oscillators tuned to the aether, thank you for your support and enjoy the festive season, however you may celebrate! 

Merry Days from Suna Dasi.  

 

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Filed under Articles, Culture, Diversity, Fantasy, India, Media, MultiCuturalism, Science Fiction, SciFi, Steampunk, Steampunk Hands Around The World, Uncategorized, Website, Writing

Bhikaiji Cama – ‘Mother of the Indian Revolution’

Via SHEROES OF HISTORY: BHIKAIJI CAMA – ‘MOTHER OF THE INDIAN REVOLUTION’ by Katacharin.

Bhikaiji Cama was an important figure in the movement for an independent India. Known to some as ‘Madam Cama’ and others as ‘The Mother of the Indian Revolution’.

Bhikaiji Sorab Patel was born on the 24th September 1861 into British-ruled India. Her young life was fairly uneventful; raised in a privileged family,  she did well at school and had a flair for languages.

In 1885 she was married, and her name became Bhikaiji Rustom Cama. Unfortunately this marriage wasn’t very successful. By this time in her life Bhikaiji had begun to have strong feelings about the British rule of India, and had become very interested in the Indian Nationalist Movement which campaigned for a free and independent country. Sadly her husband didn’t share her views, he was pro-British and enjoyed the benefits this gave him. Eventually, and controversially for the time, she left him.

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Priya’s Shakti: Comics, Justice and the Indian Way Part I – Interview with Ram Devineni by Suna Dasi

  
The brutal Delhi gang rape and subsequent death of the victim in December 2012 shocked the world. More importantly, it rocked India to its core, with outraged people taking to the streets, demanding better urban safety and an improved judicial system for rape victims everywhere in India. This is an ongoing issue that has yet to see full success, but slow progress has been made.

It is not easy to nudge a certain mode of cultural thinking that results in women drawing the shirtest legal and social straw into different channels. 

I have personal experience with this kind of crime and so have most of my female friends and loved ones, one way or another. I have on occasion used the resources of my work in support of organisations who work tirelessly towards making a difference. On a purely voluntary basis, Art Attack Films has created corporate films for Rape Crisis Centres and local police instruction in Scotland, to further better understanding and approach towards rape victims when they come forward to report their experience. The films were shot with both English and Polish actors; several organisations use them in their work with Romany travellers. One of Edinburgh’s largest universities used the films to encourage debate on the subject among their students.

Then, in the aftermath of the Delhi gang rape, which I had followed with horror and grief, the Priya’s Shakti campaign gained global traction in 2014. This unusual, creative and passionate initiative to create awareness through an interactive comic deeply moved and intrigued me.

  
(The Blippar App enables supporters of Priya’s Shakti to creatively show their solidarity.)

As an avid comic reader, I know what a great platform for social commentary and political satire it can be, not to mention how solace can be found in them if one feels different, alien and lonely outside the expected cultural norm. Many of Chris Claremont’s X-Men narratives saved my own teenage sanity for this exact reason. Looking further, Pat Mill’s Charlie’s War and Marshall Law, Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta and lesser known comics like 2000AD serials Bratz Bizarre and Finn instantly spring to mind.

Those not into comics would and do not particularly associate them with addressing societal wrongs. While comics are becoming more and more part of the cultural mainstream as a way to create our modern day mythologies, it is still one of the last bastions where one can get away with truly subversive and status quo challenging subject matter, where other fictional genres are beginning to creak under the increasing weight of politically correct sanitation.

It’s less dangerous when it’s drawn, right?

Read the FULL ARTICLE on the SciFi and Fantasy Network:

http://www.scififantasynetwork.com/priyas-shakti-comics-justice-and-the-indian-way-part-i/ 

  

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Madhubani – Forest of Honey: Living Traditions of Folk Paintings of India

Article by Lopamudra:

“intings, sometimes stated as Madhubani, belong to the genre of folk paintings of India. It originated in the region of Mithila from where they also derive their name. Since it is the geographical derivation and medium of the artwork that unites this genre and kind, this classification or nomenclature is fitting.”

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Steampunk Marvel Crossovers (X-men)

Absolutely wonderful Steampunk X-Men crossover, from the Adventures With Mala blog!

Adventures With Mala

X-men is one of my all time favorite comics so I very excited to share this feature with you.  I love to seeing collaborative projects too!  Make sure to check out all the talented people involved in this amazing project.   I really can’t say enough about these detail in each of these costumes. If you know X-men you will appreciate how the design is balanced with the character design and the originality of each piece. I have been debating about how to write up this feature but seriously there is way too much to say!  Instead of me saying how epic these are I hope you can find the elements in each piece that you appreciate for your own reasons.  – Mala

The costumes were made by Maise Designs Seamstress and designed by Art of Jen Broomall.
Photos by Grant Brummett

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In order left to right:
Rogue: Itty Bitty…

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