The Complexities Of Queer Identity & Self-Acceptance Captured Through Visual Poetry

The Complexities Of Queer Identity & Self-Acceptance Captured Through Visual Poetry
Varsha Panikar

Time and memories are two of the most powerful forces in life, and yet, we often overlook their potential to take them for granted. The inevitable dialogue between the two makes space for us to evolve, learn, unlearn, and experience all that is possible in one lifetime.

Jazz artist Simha, and director Varsha Panikar bring this concept to life in After So Long // बरसों बाद, a visual poetry set in Mumbai. It is voiced by Simha and their parents and is delivered beautifully in both, English, and Hindi. Produced by Star Hopper Studios, this piece of visual poetry signifies Simha and their relationship with their roots – as a queer BIPOC person born in India, and raised in the US. The collective experiences that shapes identity are both unique and challenging. This feels like an attempt to meet oneself all over again, and allow the possibility to love who you encounter, as they are – something we could use more of in this world.

Varsha’s wondrous vision gives the poetry body, and allows it to be its own being. It is inspired from “...vintage home-movie culture to create a contemplative and nostalgic vignette of an artist’s spiritual journey out of the darkness and into the light.”

Simha and their co-writer Jae, wrote After So Long // बरसों बाद as a song for their EP, but decided to let it remain as a poem.

“I hope that this video not only serves as a reminder of patience, but of self-acceptance. For me, I never thought to be so blessed to have had the chance to get acquainted with myself in so many ways, and I am forever grateful to have that experience over and over again.”

— Simha

Sitting at the confluence of identity, attachment, belonging, and more, After So Long // बरसों बाद is magic in the form of visual poetry. It reminds you that your journey to find answers about yourself is not one in vain.

Watch After So Long // बरसों बाद here.

Find Varsha Panikar here.

Find Simha here.

Find Star Hopper Studios here.

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