Drag In Mahabharat: Photoseries Recreates The Existence Of The LGBTQIA+ Community

Drag In Mahabharat: Photoseries Recreates The Existence Of The LGBTQIA+ Community
Alekhya Grace

“Being a queer person, we are always told that queerness is anti-religion.”

— Patruni Chidananda Sastry

The religion card is played incessantly when it comes to othering the LGBTQIA+ community –– considering these identities as something that does not belong in Indian culture, the idea of it being unacceptable is vastly supported in the country.

Image Courtesy: Alekhya Grace

Patruni Chidananda Sastry collaborated with Alekhya Grace to artfully ‘create awareness on celebrated queerness within Hindu mythology’. Photographically recreating the queer characters of the Mahabharat, namely Shikandi, Brihannala, Ali, and Mohini, their project aims to ‘stir a conversation on that queerness existed for ages now and is embraced within every culture’.

Studying the integration of queerness in Hindu mythology, Patruni narrowed down on the Mahabharat. The last push of motivation proved to be a court hearing that announced gay marriages as against Hindu culture.

Image Courtesy: Alekhya Grace

Patruni says, “We planned to pick up for major characters falling into the gender/sexuality spectrum. All the four characters are gender non confirming, sometimes interluded with trans umbrella with sexuality varying from multiple gender across the entire myth.”

With Alekhya’s ability to capture story bound emotion, the duo were able to create this magical piece of art.

Image Courtesy: Alekhya Grace

It is imperative to acknowledge and encourage inclusivity –– and it begins by denying false narratives of the non-existence of the LGBTQIA+ community.

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