Queer and feminist voices in our patriarchal societies are silenced by and for the sake of the masculine and the normative. In this issue, we focus on those marginalized voices and document them to stand against forcible attempts to deny and erase experiences and opinions they express.
This issue of My.Kali investigates questions of voice form a number of different angles, and more specifically, its connection to identity, expression, and the body. What are the nuances of this relationship between voice, sexuality and body? How does voice relate to freedom and repression, liberation and suppression? How does tone of voice or accent affect lived experience or what is acceptable?
Contributions to this dossier present personal testimonies about voice in and as revolution, including a collection of contributions and testimonies from LGBT+ communities in the Arab revolutions, one of our writer’s work discussing the 2011 revolution in Egypt and Sudan specifically. Other contributions address the politics of voice as representation, considering the history of Queer and Feminist magazines/platforms in the Arabic-speaking region, the relationship between trans individuals and voice, and the start of a column dedicated to AIDS and HIV in the region
Finally, we look at case studies of artists regarding sexuality and gender. One article discusses the life of Munira Mahdia, an Egyptian musician who achieved the title “Sultanat El Tarab” despite her non-normative gender expression in an environment hostile to women in the art. In another piece, singer/actress Ruby shares about her struggles with restriction of her body and voice. And, for our cover story, we met with Lebanese singer-songwriter, Juliana Yazbeck, in Paris to discuss the launch of her debut album, Sungod, and the forces that informed it, from feminism to her Arab roots, and how she uses her voice to challenge patriarchy and colonialism.
In considering voice from these angles, we hope to validate the cost of silencing and marginalizing forces individual and illuminate its impact on society. And, we hope to honor its subversive potential of personal and collective voice in the face of such challenges.
The Dossier/issue and structure arranged by Musa Shadeedi and Khalid Abdel-Hadi. Proof-read by Eliza Marks
Cover: Juliana Yazbeck
The singer-songwriter challenges shame, self-hate & colonialism through music
They are ours
Leafing through the pages of LGBT+ media in the MENA region
Hear the Voice
Remembering the Revolution by those who are queer
On the cover: Singer/song writer: Juliana Yazbeck
Photographed by: Oumaima Dermoumi
Styled by: Marwa Asserraji
Creative Direction Khalid Abdel-Hadi & Marwa Asserraji
Behind the scenes conducted by Camille Léage
Cover design by: Mohammed Moe Mustafa