Desh Pardesh was a South Asian arts festival that was held between the years 1988 and 2001. It began under the name Salaam Toronto in collaboration with the Khush collective — an organization for gay men of South Asian background. We have collaborated with the Canadian and Lesbian Gay Archives (CLGA), the South Asian Visual Arts Centre (SAVAC) and the LGBTQ Oral History Digital Collaboratory to compile an oral history of this festival. Our findings are presented below. These oral history interviews with artists and organizers involved in the festival were created by the South Asian Visual Arts Centre in 2016.
Please note that the snippets of interviewee respondents that we have included are very small portions of much larger conversations, and we encourage you to listen to and leaf through the actual full interviews for purposes of context and clarity. We have linked the snippets of interviews to the full interviews for this purpose.
The purpose of this website is to layout the festival year by year and to highlight significant events or ideologies that emerged during these times. You can click through each set of years and find clips of inteviews discussing the festival and related archival documents that provide more context to what the interviewees are saying.
Created By: Alisha Krishna and Amal Khurram, with the help of Saj Soomal (SAVAC/CLGA). The exhibit was created as part of the LGBTQ Oral History Digital Collaboratory, a 5 year SSHRC project directed by Elspeth Brown, University of Toronto.