Concrete Women

Gender, Urbanism, and Protest in South Asia

Table of contents

Introduction: Of Skin and Streets

Chapter One:"I'm Not Sure How To Tell You - from The Archive of K. Kalpana'": Rashmi Munikempanna?s Affective Worlds

Chapter Two: Farmer Suicide: A Public Feminist Reckoning

Chapter Three: "We have left this world to live with each other." A Queer Suicide Note

Chapter Four: ASQ: All Sorts of Queers: Desire in the City

Chapter Five: The Aravani Art Project: A Tribute to Public Icons

Chapter Six:Fashion Crimes: The Sartorial Excess of Big Hair, Loud Mouth and Wearabout

Chapter Seven: #MetooIndia: Transnational Dissent

Chapter Eight: #IWillGoOut: Reclaiming the Commons

Chapter Nine: #GirlsatDhabas--Feminist Street Preachers

Chapter Ten: Blank Noise: The Striking Sound of a Ha Ha Sangha

Conclusion: A Pandemic, A Protest, A Public Sphere


People who live in South Asian cities re-shape politics and actualize constitutional rights, in
parks, on playgrounds, and in city streets. Each chapter in this book discusses feminist,
Transgender, and queer movements in urban India and Pakistan. The author has interviewed
those who are part of a generation of unabashedly courageous, intersectional feminists who are
living and working in South Asia and share their first-hand stories. These activists stage protests
and artistic interventions in a time period of legal reforms regarding queer rights, public debates
regarding sex, the rise of urbanization, and growing forms of Internet literacy and
accessibility. Concrete Women is a rumination on the distances between life and death, between unremitting violence and the possibility of justice.