#ColourfulKamanabillu with RJ Shilok – The Queer Arts Movement India (QAMI) Habba’s Unique Platform for ‘One Love’


In this latest episode of Colourful Kamanabillu, RJ Shilok interviews Romal Laisram, founder of the Queer Arts Movement India (QAMI). The talk is all about the carnival called QAMI Habba that begins on 15th July and goes on until the 5th of August. Being an event that provides a space for the cathartic expression of love, irrespective of its mainstream-ness or queerness, QAMI is a festival of change that a lot of Bangaloreans have been looking forward to this year.

QAMI is four-years-old and the event’s theme this year is ‘One Love’. From being solely a fundraising event to becoming the ‘festival of free love’, QAMI Habba has outgrown stereotypes and has involved people from across the country. “It hit us so simply,” is how some people have responded to the events.


“The focus of QAMI is to make the mainstream audience understand about the queer community, through art,” says Romal. He believes that art is a medium that can make people look beyond their preset notions and let them experience a totally new world. This makes art way more effective than mere words and protests. Art can never be politicised, like words can be. Art just knows the way to resonate with human passion. In this way, QAMI aims at making people understand the normality of queer love experiences through a language common to all.

The objective of QAMI is to provide a space for the non-judgemental inclusion and acceptance of all marginalised communities. The fest is a perfect place for dialogue, liberation of thoughts, and free expression of emotions.

QAMI lines up an array of events which are unique and are often lost in the conformity of the heteronormative world. ‘Men can Mohiniattam’ and ‘Belly Dancing with Alex Victor’ are some of the events which out rightly break the social constructs of gender roles and identities.


RJ Shilok, following the wonderful conversation with Romal, says, “While intellect alienates people, art connects them.”

The entire team of Radio Active CR 90.4 MHz looks forward to QAMI Habba and RJ Shilok’s performance in it.

(Follow the event page here: goo.gl/bvgEPC)

Listen in…

Written by Vybhavi Adiga.

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