Student Coordinator, QUEst
Senior Coordinator, Student Media Cell
Embracing diversity is a key requirement for any campus of higher learning. IIM Bangalore, as a community, has been striving to be more inclusive of people from diverse academic backgrounds and of minorities in terms of sex and physical ability. Having created an inclusive campus for persons with disability and moving the needle onto gender diversity (26% in the batch of 2016), IIM Bangalore seeks to lead the way to inclusive campuses, encouraging difficult conversations on LGBTQ and other forms of diversity.
QUEst IIMB, a student-led interest group aimed at fostering meaningful conversations around diversity and inclusion issues, along with the KASHISH Arts Foundation, a not-for-profit that aims to create awareness and work for the Social, Cultural, Educational awakening of those marginalized on the basis of gender identity, HIV status, transgender and other sexual minorities, and the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore organized the KASHISH Forward Campus Film Festival – India’s first travelling LGBTQ campus film festival on October 14th at the IIMB campus. The speaker for the evening was Mr. Shibu Thomas, a core trustee of the KASHISH Arts Foundation and the force behind the KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival. The panel comprised of various faculty members from IIM Bangalore including Professor Vasanthi Srinivasan, professor in OB/HRM area, who is also the key faculty to drive this initiative.
The event was a colorful evening of eye-opening and heart-rending short films from around the world along with engaging and meaningful conversations on the marginalization of the LGBTQ community. The 7 short films, all addressing various prejudices and perspectives revolving around the theme of sexual orientation, catered to two main issues – Identity and Acceptance. With this carefully curated film line-up, the event was meant to engage students and faculty, to sensitize them and to challenge their biases.
The discussions, after the film screenings, highlighted the importance of incorporating LGBTQ talks into mainstream conversations, the essence of intersectionality and the need for embracing inclusive policy throughout organizations. The event is meant to be a conversation starter in order to keep the ball rolling and encourage rich discussions on this issue and much more, going forward.