Pleasure and data? Is there such a rishta? We said yes, oui, haan!
How does acknowledging that young people want pleasure change the questions we ask and the research we do on their love/sex lives? Can taking pleasure seriously, transform the programmes, policies, curriculums and laws we create? #LoveSexAndData asked - is Pleasure the secret ingredient that data needs in order to be useful and relevant to our life and create a more just society?
The Love, Sex and Data Conference: A 3-day digital conference that took place from 7-9th October, 2021 was organised by Agents of Ishq and The YP Foundation to deep dive into these questions through keynotes, panels, workshops, performances, afterhours interactions and more!
3 days, 36 events, 60 speakers - thank you to everyone who joined us in bringing in the pleasure lens to our work (and our life!) as students, activists, educators, NGO workers, researchers, writers or really, whoever you are!
A first-of-its-kind conference dedicated to sex and pleasure in India? We said - you need to come ya (in more ways than one if you like *wink wink*) and you did - all 1663 of you!
Panel Discussion with Anne Philpott (The Pleasure Project), Judy Amina, Surabhi Yadav (Women at Leisure Project) Moderator: Nisha SusanTheme: The Transformative Power of Pleasure
Pleasure Pocket by Abhishek AniccaTheme: Our Lives, Our Data, Our Interventions
An online performance conceived and directed by Anuja Ghosalkar
Workshop with Bhanupriya Rao (Behanbox)Theme: Our Lives, Our Data, Our Interventions
Anish Gawande is a writer and translator. He is the director of the Dara Shikoh Fellowship, an interdisciplinary arts residency in Kashmir, and the founder and curator of Pink List India, a queer political advocacy organisation. Anish graduated with a degree in Comparative Literature and Society from Columbia University and is currently a Rhodes Scholar pursuing his master's in Intellectual History at Oxford, focusing on queer histories in the global South.
Sameera Iyengar is a creative producer and theatre person. She loves conjuring up delightful ways to share theatre and the performing arts with people – and has created, curated and run festivals, arts addas, school programmes, carnivals, workshops for children and theatre exhibitions. She co-edited 'Our Stage: The Pleasures and Perils of Theatre Practice in India Today' (Tulika 2009). She co-founded the India Theatre Forum, SMART (Strategic Management in the Art of Theatre), and the arts outreach organisation Junoon. Her tryst with theatre began at MIT as a Maths major; she has a PhD on theatre from the University of Chicago.
Paromita Vohra is a pioneering voice in the conversations on feminism, desire and culture in India. She is an award winning documentary filmmaker, whose films include the landmark documentaries Unlimited Girls, Q2P, Where’s Sandra? and Partners in Crime, among others. She founded Agents of Ishq in 2015, completely changing the way that sex, love and desire were discussed in India, creating a new language and aesthetic to talk about sexuality rooted in an Indian context. Agents of Ishq is now a conversation leader in the field of sexuality, and Indian’s best loved site on all things sex, love and desire – recognised the world over for their music videos on consent, their playful, irreverent sex-education content, and the incredibly sensitive personal narratives on their website . Paromita is also the writer of the film Khamosh Pani, the comic Priya’s Mirror and writes the weekly column Paronormal Activity in Sunday Mid-day.
Akanksha Kadam is a Mumbai based Lavani artist. She is known for her playful, sensuous adakari which captivates her audience within no time. She has been practising this art form for over 20 years. She conducts Lavani workshops by Kali Billi Productions and has trained many girls and boys in footwork and adakari. She has won numerous awards. She has choreographed Lavani songs for Marathi and Hindi films. She has also appeared in TV reality shows. Akanksha currently works as a freelance Lavani dancer.