‘Chinky’ is a racial slur that homogeneously marks out people from the North-eastern states as racially inferior, yet ironically an exotic and erotic race in the Indian context. It symbolises a collective experience of racial discrimination against people from north-east India.
‘Homo’ is a derogatory word commonly used in the northeast region to identify and insult those who don’t conform to gender norms. Though there are words in local dialects that signify queerness, such as ‘maiki’ in Assamese, and ‘nupi-maanbi’ or ‘nupa-saabi’ among the Meitei speaking community of Manipur, ‘homo’ remains the word that is still widely used across Northeast India as an umbrella term for what could be called queer or LGBTQAID+. A person living at the cusp or intersection of both subjectivities experiences a constant state of anxiety over the quest for self-determination and a sense of belonging.
The Chinky Homo Project seeks to explore, discuss and archive the lived experiences and narratives of people living in the cusp or intersection of both subjectivities. We seek to record, archive and disseminate testimonies, fictions, photo essay and myriad forms of digital and print based expressions from queer people belonging to the region vis-a-vis the absence and stark invisibility of literature and other forms of expression of being queer in/from the region in general as well as LGBTQAID+ mainstream discourse in the country. Through the above we seek to create a space where representation and determination of northeastern queer identity lies in our hand and is painted with our own struggle and our own stories.