Social science, as a discipline, is tasked with interpreting the world. A greater number of scholars, however, believe in the philosophy of being agents of social and political change. Center for Regional Research in Sustainability Studies (CRRSS) a global think tank is also inclined to this philosophy. CRRSS’s main research agenda is the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the ways they can be achieved.
The think tank currently has 5 research areas associated with 5 out of the 17 SDG Goals. Traditionally, think tanks are primarily known for their research which is read by academicians and policy scientists, but CRRSS sincerely believes that its job is not merely interpreting the world but bringing change. With that in mind, CRRSS under the Gender Equality Program is launching a new magazine named Unspoken. The main theme of the magazine will be on the Transpersons community to provide greater representation to the community.
It is widely acknowledged that cisnormativity is ingrained in our society. It is the assumption that everyone is cis-(identifying with their biological sex) in our society unless otherwise stated. This has been constantly reinforced through the dominant culture and this culture is propagated by families, educational institutions, the state, and the media.
In this way, the gender identity of every human being has been reinforced into a binary state – woman, and man. Gender, however, is one’s own internal experience of being a girl, a boy, man, woman, both of these, none of these or another gender.
Srijani Roy is an associate at Gender Equality Program and also the project head of Unspoken. I asked her as to why the name Unspoken was chosen to which she replied, “The name of the magazine is Unspoken because despite trans persons being present in our society, their voices are always silenced. We refuse to give them an opportunity to speak. Unspoken gives all those unspoken voices a platform to share their stories with the world.”
She also added, “The magazine aims to inspire each and every one of us to never give up hope. The stories that we will be bringing out through this magazine inspires us to not only unlearn our perceptions towards the trans community but also makes us more inclusive.”
Debarati Ganguly is an intern at CRRSS and conducts research and writing for the magazine. I also work with her on the same team as a research and writing intern. According to her, she joined the magazine to contribute towards building a platform from the roots for the people belonging to the transgender community.
She said, “It gives me immense pleasure to communicate with people from the community, know their stories and opinions.” She wants to increase her knowledge further in this field and help in building a more inclusive society.
Work on the magazine started late July 2020 and the whole team has worked tirelessly to bring out the magazine. The team consists of the project head, Srijani Roy and Prateek Srivastava who is the executive director of CRRSS. He is also the Senior consulting Advisor of Unspoken.
The team along with Debarati Ganguly also has a number of interns. Piuli Basu, Tanistha Bhagawati, and me. It also consists of Sai Tanishka who is the graphic designer and Ayesha Shanghavi who is handling our social media and PR.
Prateek Srivastava thinks that there is a particular knowledge gap that gets generated with regards to scholarly work since few people read it. According to him, “the goal of the magazine is to reach people from both the community and outside the community.”
He also added that as the director of CRRSS, he cherishes the kind of activism which holds the entire Unspoken team and the other teams. It is a group of people who think out of the box and is creative. The entire team wants to work for a world that is more inclusive and equal. A magazine is a right step towards the right direction.
The first issue of the magazine will contain an exclusive interview with Manobi Bandyopadhyay and a lot of other content. The magazine will be dynamic as it will contain videos. It will be freely available on the CRRSS Website. We look forward to your engagement with the magazine and share it with your friends and family.