As part of FII’s new Meet the Team series, we are featuring former and current employees who have worked with or are working with us currently since the inception of FII. Feminism in India as a digital intersectional feminist media platform would not exist if not for these incredible individuals who have helped build this organisation to make what it is today.
Today, we’re chatting with Suman Saurav, who identifies as a Dalit queer feminist. She joined FII in 2018 as a Digital Editor and is currently working with Jhatkaa.org as a Campaigns Manager – Gender and Sexuality. Since people will be reading this, she would like to take this opportunity to ask everyone to start watching anime. Thank you!
FII: What did you like most about being a part of the FII family?
Suman: My colleagues! They were the best in the world. I made some friendships which will last a lifetime. So grateful for having met them. I am telling you – you can forge some smashing friendships if you’re also smashing patriarchy together!
FII: What advice would you give someone joining the organisation?
Suman: Be open and ready to learn, make mistakes, and learn some more. No one is a “perfect feminist” and it’s okay to not know everything. You will be learning so much here! But also remember that being a media organisation, work at FII can get very fast-paced, triggering and many a time take a toll on your mental health. Recognise if and when it happens and be vocal about it.
FII: How would your (former) colleagues describe you?
Suman: Can you please ask them? I’d really like to know! But to quote them, “Weird“, and “Yuck Suman, who doesn’t like pizza?” In my defence, I also don’t like Biryani. Now you know why they call me ‘weird’.
FII: Which fictional character do you identify with and why?
Suman: Uzumaki Naruto! Naruto has both qualities and flaws that I relate to. I have learned a lot of my life lessons from that anime, and Naruto’s character. My belief in empathy over everything, sense of justice, standing up for oneself and others, finding light, hope and joy in the darkest of corners, Naruto has influenced all of them. Not to forget my Ninja way. For context, I’ll say it again, please start watching anime.
FII: What is something that you’re tired of hearing?
Suman: “It’s difficult to guess your community from your surname.”
FII: What makes FII a ‘feminist’ organisation?
Suman: Understanding of intersectionality. Ability to listen, learn, foster the learnings and grow.
FII: Tell us about a particular incident that happened to you at work that you will always remember.
Suman: It’s difficult to pick one. I guess I will always remember the first and the last day – both involved sweets and pastries! I’ll remember just laughing with my colleagues, having healthy agreements and disagreements over our notions of society. I’ll remember when we all moved from practically a one-room space to a bigger office! Everyone helped move. I’ll remember everyone looking for my nod before ordering pizzas during Wikipedia edit-a-thons! I’ll remember staying late in the office just to chit-chat with my colleagues. I’ll remember the evening walks to Polka Pastry shop to get some chai. There are just so many moments which I will always cherish.
FII thanks Suman Saurav for her timely and valuable contribution to the organisation. We are incredibly grateful to have her as a part of our team and appreciate her for her deeply insightful work. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.