What is Malar-Oli
We are an online publishing platform for trans, intersex and non-binary folks to voice our lived experiences, articulate our politics, and share our art. We hope to contribute to building knowledge by centering and archiving our lives through written articles, poetry, music, graphic and video art, and other forms of expression that members of the community wish to put up here, out there.
The magazine is called Malar-Oli.net (pronounced as Muh-ler Oh-lee). It is a combination of words from Malayalam and Tamil and literally means ‘Flower-Light’. So it kind of means the ‘Blossoming of Light’, since our journey from darkness to light is not as linear, or unidirectional as we would like it to be. And the idea behind it is that with every new ‘voice’, writing or art that gets created from among us, we blossom a bit more towards light, a bit more towards knowing.
What we intend to do
In its ideal shape, it would be a small online space where people who identify as trans, intersex and/or non-binary, and who also wish to write and create art around their experiences, their theoretical and conceptual positions, their journeys, their critiques of society, critiques of existing social movements and community spaces, popular culture, science and technology and so on, can share their work. We imagine that here we can let down the burdens from the past, without erasing it. Here, we can imagine our futures. We hope that Malar-Oli.net develops into a public space for political dialogue between members of the community.
Malar-Oli aims to hold and make space for altering the mainstream narrative around trans, intersex and non-binary being. The idea is to create a self-publishing platform so that we don’t have to go through cisgender mediators and gatekeepers to decide which parts of our experience are valid and worthy of being part of history. We want this space to be able to articulate our everyday lives, desires, dreams, and politics rather than us being portrayed as research subjects by self-proclaimed experts on our realities.
Unlike a lot of other efforts that come out to talk about our lives that intend to educate people about our experiences, we hope that this becomes a community-led space to talk through our differences, understand the true variations in our experiences, our demands, and our desires and educate ourselves about our realities. It’s a virtual space where we can try to grow together.
Who we are
At heart we are just bunch of anxious and nervous first-timers in online publishing. We want to talk to each other and learn from each other. For us, a huge part of our learning, self-exploration and community building started over the internet and so we want to keep learning, through art and writing, and by being vulnerable together.