Image credit: Brenda Alamilla
A few months ago, Ujjwal Agarwal and Eric Erre found themselves living in the same house in Kreuzberg, Berlin, owned by Andi Teichmann, one-half of Gebrüder Teichmann. Agarwal — also known as Kala/Kalab — was there for two months, from April till June, as part of the Border Movement Residency. Erre, a visual artist from Mexico with a strong DIY aesthetic, was in town having been invited to do the visuals for a gig held to launch the ‘Karachi Files’ album, released by the label NOLAND.
Igniting Brown Pride: Why the New Swet Shop Boys LP ‘Cashmere’ is the Most Important Hip-Hop Album of the Year
In the beginning, there was Bend It Like Beckham. Gurinder Chadha’s 2002 sleeper hit was, and still remains, one of the essential contributions to urban brown culture. In Jess, the lead character portrayed by Punjabi-British actress Parminder Nagra, I felt like I’d found an accurate portrayal of my South Asian life. Granted, it felt a bit weird – me being a middle-class Punjabi chubby 10-year old boy from Delhi finding solace in the struggles of a Hounslow-based girl who, like me, liked David Beckham, and who, like me, wanted something different from the mundane, stereotypical brown life so many of my peers seemed condemned to. Bend It Like Beckham was also my first introduction to racism – in a pivotal scene, a white girl calls Jess ‘Paki’ – a derogatory racial slur commonly used against people of South Asian origin in Britain.
Image credit: Neha Dixit
Donn Bhatt just put out his third album, ‘Connected’, on 28 September. Two weeks later, any nervousness on his part seems to have been allayed by an outpouring of love for it on social media. “I’m surprised at how many folks have been sharing it, talking about it and writing in to let me know what they think”, he says, in a tone completely beside the brooding drawl we hear on the album. In any case, there’s no room left for anxiety. …
That Sanaya Ardeshir has been hard at work over the last year, is known to anyone who may have followed her music even in the slightest. The direction her two-step, future garage-y music is taking, the different rooms she plays out to, and the quality of her collaborators are all indicative of Ardeshir slowly, but most definitely breaking out of a self-imposed shell.