As part of FII’s 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 Shahinda Syed, who is the Associate Editor at FII English. Shahinda is a journalist with an interest in covering culture, politics, conflict and gender. She has an experience in reporting, photography and documentary filmmaking. She has done her Master’s in Mass Communication from AJK MCRC Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. Besides cinema and books, chai is what keeps her going.
Before FII, Shahinda worked with CREA and Mojo Story. She has also contributed to International media like TRT World and Middle East Eye. Shahinda is an extremely sensitive person and believes that she walks the talk. She will stand for whatever she believes in, to the degree that she sometimes let go of people who think politics is not part of life and bury their heads in the sand and pull off an ostrich analogy.
FII: What do you like most about being a part of the FII family?
Shahinda: I worked at many places, so-called feminist organisations but when you look deep down, they are all but a facade. Here at FII, you are heard, and you are respected for your identity and politics. FII is home now.
FII: What advice would you give someone joining the organisation?
Shahinda: You will learn, unlearn and re-learn and you will be valued.
FII: How would your colleagues describe you?
Shahinda: A bit too serious and too professional. But I guess they love me.
FII: Which fictional character do you identify with and why?
Shahinda: Any character from Kafka’s books because I believe we live in a bizarre world if we keep our eyes and ears open, we will also feel that.
FII: What is something that you’re tired of hearing?
Shahinda: “Put feminism aside and then think?”, “Ohh are you are feminist? You might as well be an atheist! Haha!” Only people with privilege can afford to say such things.
FII: Which feminist movement do you feel particularly passionate about and why?
Shahinda: My solidarity goes to everyone who is marginalised on the basis of caste, class, gender and various other minority identities. I will always be an ally and stand by the people raising their voices against oppression and tearing down oppressive power structures.
FII: What makes FII a ‘feminist’ organisation?
Shahinda: FII’s intersectional feminist policies and outlook, that is visible in the work we do and the way we internally communicate with our team. We do actually walk the talk here at FII.
FII: What’s the most fun thing about your job?
Shahinda: Reading and reading so many stories, and drafts and getting to know about so many things. I have unlearned and learned so many things while reading writers’ drafts. Also, interns, I love working with interns.
FII: Do you remember when and why you decided to work at a feminist organisation?
Shahinda: I don’t know exactly when it happened, but I knew from a very early age my thoughts are not conformist and it is not an easy road that I am taking.
FII: If you had a talk show, which feminist icon would you call and what would you ask them?
Shahinda: Audre Lorde! Because I have always loved her work and not to forget Fatima Bhutto, as she has always made sure that feminism doesn’t get hijacked by white western feminists. As she said “I want my feminists to be murder free”, she said a lot in a few words.
FII thanks Shahinda 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. She can be followed on Instagram.