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The 2015 Gay Bombay Art Meet produced some amazing works of art. The 3-hour annual LGBT event showcasing queer art from the Mumbai community follows a process of mindfulness circle meditation, creation of artwork with all materials provided, an enhanced ambiance with creativity-enhancing music, and patchouli aromatherapy vaporizers. The artworks are then mounted on the wall with blue tack, snacks and drinks are served. Then with the respectful listenership of all, each artist describes their work of art, talking about what they were feeling and what it means to them, providing a fascinating window into their mind and heart, as well as a new perspective on what may have seemed like an obvious interpretation of the art.

The objective of the meet is to encourage creative self-expression. Many members of the community do not feel comfortable articulating their experiences – of love, fear, discrimination, violence, sensuality or even just their queerness in the framework and language of the dominant discourse. Even at community events, they end up being passive listeners as a few voices and points of view find re-articulation, and events like film festivals etc., though very welcome, foster consumption of queer culture and not its production. Hence art becomes a great way to say what they want to without, as it were, negotiating a minefield of words. Raj Pandey from QGraphy,  a platform for budding and accomplished queer and allied photographers to share their passion, photographed the artworks. I had half a mind to include write-ups, but the pictures are so evocative, I felt any explanation – any minefield of words – would detract from the effect. So here goes!

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Artist: Rehan

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Artist: Sushmit Naik

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Artist: Ashok Kori

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Artist: Raj Pandey

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Artist: Nikhil Ghume

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011Artist: Satyajit

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Artist: Akshay Agashe

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Artist: Mithil Churi

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007Artist: Sandeep

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Artist: Manoj Shroff

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Artist: Sachin Jain

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Artist: Mihir Maher

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Artist: Rahul

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Artist: Shivali Kumar

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Artist: Tushar

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Artist: Hareesh Reddypalli

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Artist: Saravanan Chokalingam

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Artist: Jeewon