Whenever people ask me why and how I started FII six years back, my response is always, “I was bored“, “It was quite random“, “It was an impulsive decision“, etc. and that is honestly the truth. One day, I was reading the book Feminism In India: Issues in Contemporary Indian Feminism edited by Maitrayee Chaudhuri and randomly started a Facebook page. The rest is well, history 🙂
Today, we are an intersectional feminist media organisation consisting of 10+ women and operational in two languages—English and Hindi. It’s been a long journey of many ups and downs, awards and accolades as well as hate speech and trolling.
2020 has undoubtedly been a difficult year for all of us, especially for independent civil society organisations as human rights violations are in full force. Even then, in these tough times, we have stood our ground and continued to support human rights activists albeit digitally. 2020 is also the year when we expanded our team from five to nine, and were one of the few organisations hiring during the pandemic.
Due to the pandemic and subsequent lockdown, there has been a major job crisis globally and media organisations in India were specially hit. Many journalists, editors, reporters etc. lost their jobs and were left stranded by their employers. To make job seeking a little easier, we are launching a Feminist Job Board soon, where employers can advertise jobs, internships, fellowships, online courses and many such professional and academic opportunities. Interested candidates will be able to freely access this job board and look for recruiters of their choice.
This year, we also expanded our Hindi operations and are now creating and publishing original multimedia content like videos, posters and infographics in Hindi. Follow the FII Hindi website for more such content. We aim to make feminist academic discourse, which is largely inaccessible due to language barriers, and other feminist narratives more accessible and understandable and hope to expand to other Indian languages too in the future.
The FII websites and its social media channels are a labour of love, dissent and passion by the team and community members, and FII would not reach this position without them. I want to take this moment to thank my team and offer gratitude to our community of writers and interns who have regularly sent submissions, helping us grow even during the pandemic. In the long list of people we are thankful to, we are also indebted to the trolls who remind us everyday that the work we are doing is important, and the thriving patriarchal structures are yet to be tied down.
In this vein, I’d like to share a few new initiatives that we launched today.
We released a new video trailer, where I talk about our journey and future initiatives to make FII a one-stop platforms for everything related to the feminist movement in India. Watch the trailer and tell me what you think!
On our 6th birthday, we also launched our first ever podcast! This is a birthday special podcast where I share the vision of FII, what sets us apart from mainstream media platforms and how we, as a team, deal with the incessant amount of trolling and hate speech that FII and individual team members, interns and writers receive.
S03E01: Un-stereotyping the female comedian Ft. Radhika Vaz – Intersectional Feminism—Desi Style!
This podcast is also available on Spotify. Since this is our first podcast, I’d love if you give us feedback and tell us what more you’d like to see in our podcasts.
We have a small gift for you too! Our illustrator Sushrita has created these beautiful and heart-warming mobile wallpapers for you to download and use on your devices. I hope you like them. If you do end up using them, take a screenshot and put it on your story on Instagram and tag us or directly tweet to us on Twitter. We’d love to see your new wallpapers!
Lastly, FII is independent from any religious or political affiliations and requires funds to keep the websites running ad-free, and pay for our core costs like a office space, salaries of our core team members and remuneration for our writers. We also want to be able to create more feminist resources that are time-intensive.
A few hundred rupees or a few thousand would go a long way in helping us stay ad-free, and we promise to keep serving you fresh feminist content that you love! On our 6th birthday, your contributions would make for the best birthday gift. Share your support by tweeting with #FIITurns6.
For international donors, please click here. For Indian donors, please click here.
I’d love to hear your stories and experiences of how FII impacted you!