If, like us, you’ve thought, “Hey, it’s 2017, India could really use a lesbian anthem!” well, look no further, because we just got one.
Directed by film director and queer-rights activist Malini Jeevarathnam, the song titled “#LesbianAnthem” depicts two very loving sequences – one between a lesbian couple in the city, and another sequence between a lesbian couple in rural Tamil Nadu.
The video carries a lot of conventions that any dutiful film-lover would recognise immediately – the close embraces, the intimate spaces, the coy glances – only this time, it’s far from the heterosexual courtships we are so used to seeing on screen.
Like all pieces of art, the music video is open to interpretation, but a scene with the two caged birds seems to be making an important point. Accompanied by the anguished look on the lover’s face, it appears to point at the problem of being queer in India – where people are often left caged, closeted. But the very next scene flips this around, showing the caged birds as no more than ornaments, earrings for a lover. This bit is accompanied by lyrics about how both women will see each other through the highs and lows.
The song is actually part of Jeevarathnam’s award-winning documentary, “Ladies and Gentle Women”, which premiered at the Chennai Rainbow Film Festival last year. In order to reach out to a wider audience, Jeevarathanam decided to release “#LesbianAnthem” as a standalone music video.
As the director herself has pointed out, much of the media’s focus (whether in art, or in daily reporting) tends to be on homosexual love between men. There’s a serious want for more lesbian-oriented content in India. And that’s what makes “#LesbianAnthem” so cool. And it has all the Tamil women-loving-women vibes one can ask for, so we definitely aren’t complaining!