Monday, April 09, 2007

Interview with Uma

Uma from Indian Writing expanded the global scope of my project by participating in an interiew. Big thanks to Uma!


A Blog Without a Bicycle: Do you identify as a “feminist”? How important, if at all, is being/not being a feminist to your identity?

Uma: Yes, I identify as a feminist. It is an integral part of who I am.

A Blog Without a Bicycle: Whether or not you identify as a feminist, what does “feminism” mean to you?

Uma: It means the continuous effort to dream and hope and transform the world into a fairer and more humane place.

A Blog Without a Bicycle: Do you or have you ever kept a blog or blogs? When you spend time online, do you read blogs? Are there any blogs you read regularly?

Uma: Yes, I have a blog – I do read other blogs, but not as much as I would like to. There are some blogs that I read regularly, those which share at least some of my interests.

A Blog Without a Bicycle: Tell me about your blog(s). How long have you been keeping a blog?

Uma: Over two years now.

A Blog Without a Bicycle: What made you want to start a blog? What was your inspiration?

Uma: I wanted a space of my own for my personal expression. It’s like a room of my own on the web.

A Blog Without a Bicycle: How would you describe your blog?

Uma: It’s my personal space on the web, a reflection of who I am, and my varied interests – Indian writing, feminism, social and environmental issues, animal rights, poetry, health issues especially cancer, and more.

A Blog Without a Bicycle: Does your blog have a theme or does it focus on a particular issue?

Uma: It is called Indian Writing but it reflects all of the interests I have listed above, and more.

A Blog Without a Bicycle: How do you define a “blog”?

Uma: A personal space. A presence, individual or collective, on the internet. A speaking voice, a listener (real or implied).

A Blog Without a Bicycle: What qualifies as a “feminist blog”?

Uma: A blog that reflects the blogger’s concern about any issue that concerns feminism. Including justice, dignity, quality of life, etc etc.

A Blog Without a Bicycle: Have you ever participated in a blog carnival? If so, tell me about that experience. Why did you want to participate in a carnival?

Uma: A great sense of solidarity. Connecting across colours, cultures and countries. Wow.

A Blog Without a Bicycle: How did you find out about the blog carnival you participated in?

Uma: From one of my favourite blogs!

A Blog Without a Bicycle: Now that you have participated in a carnival, what do you think about them?

Uma: I love them.

A Blog Without a Bicycle: What do you think is the best/worst aspect of blog carnivals?

Uma: The best thing – the sheer diversity of voices and concerns. Nothing really “worst” that I can think of, unless it’s a carnival where the blogger hosting it is indifferent to the hard work it takes to present a good carnival, or only focuses on certain kinds of issues. I enjoy diversity and look for it in the carnivals I visit.

A Blog Without a Bicycle: Do you belong to or consider yourself a member of any online community? How do you define these communities?

Uma: Yes. Many communities, and they intersect across various lines – Indian, feminist, brown feminist, animal rights, blogging, progressive/liberal, literary, and so on.

A Blog Without a Bicycle: Do you think that activism can be carried out online? What are the possibilities of such activism?

Uma: Yes, to an extent. But India is still deeply divided on the digital front, with illiteracy and poverty being more immediate issues than internet access. But as more and more people come online, voices will start speaking about their own lives, their own stories. I am confident of this.

A Blog Without a Bicycle: Do you think that feminist activism is being conducted online? If so, can you think of any examples?

Uma: Every blog that talks of feminist concerns is taking the conversation forward in its own way. Feministing, Pandagon, Bitch PhD, I Blame the Patriarchy, Blank Noise Project are all doing activism in their own ways.

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