Gender, Sexuality, Islam & Science – Spring 2023
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This reading & discussion course will create a space for participants to reflect on and debate critical perspectives in the development of discourses on gender and feminism across the world. The readings explore the variety …

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CSBR hosts 1st International Screening of CALALAI: In-Betweenness by Ardhanary Institute

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The Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies (CSBR) is honoured to have hosted the first international screening of CALALAI: In-Betweenness, a stunning documentary film made by the Ardhanary Institute that explores the historical & contemporary socio-cultural understandings of gender amongst the Bugis in South Sulawesi, Indonesia.

The film premiered on 10 December 2015, on the occasion of the International Day for Human Rights in Jakarta, Indonesia. Ardhanary Institute generously granted us rights to screen the documentary as part of our 8th Sexuality Institute, where we brought advocates from across 15 countries together for an intensive week-long training in Sri Lanka, on a holistic approach to sexual and bodily rights as human rights. The film sparked rich and lively discussions, and opened up participants eyes to the global historical variations in gender identities and sexual orientations that have existed beyond a western binary worldview. These dynamic experiences of gender and sexuality across the Global South are too often overshadowed and silenced today, especially by conservative and political ideologues that cast cultural mores across the Global South generally, and across Muslim societies particularly, as monolithic and static.

CALALAI: In-Betweenness is a vehicle for re-claiming and discussing our own histories, cultures and identities on our own terms, and broadening our minds to  deeper understanding in an ever shifting landscape of cultural experiences and identities. Our great appreciation to the Ardhanary Institute for their support and congratulate them on this exciting and timely documentary.

Watch the preview to the film below (with English subtitles), and get in touch with Ardhanary Institute for more information about the film.

“A story about the existence of women of South Sulawesi, Indonesia, living in Bugis culture in the midst of modern world ruled by binary system. For centuries Bugis people have accepted gender diversity as implicitly written in La Galigo manuscript, where they believe that humans consist of five genders, and one of them is calalai.
Who is calalai?”

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