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In January 2022, CREA invited six fellows from a pool of activists, scholars, artists, researchers, storytellers, and community organizers to join our CREAte Fellowship program. The nine-month fellowship provided financial assistance, technical guidance, and an enabling environment, to support their production of knowledge resources, art, storytelling, and advocacy strategies that embraced sexual and gender diversity, intersex rights, at the intersection of disability rights and justice. The goal of the fellowship was to draw attention to existing work at the intersections of disability, gender and sexual diversity, and intersex rights, identify common ground, and surface fault lines and nuances across movements. The fellowship also sought to generate greater understanding and promote cross-movement solidarity. The knowledge, art and analysis developed and interpersonal experiences gained from the fellowship serve as the foundation for cross-movement engagement, and the reshaping, rethinking, and rebooting of CREA’s commitment and work moving forward.

Meet the 2022-2023 fellows and view their transformative work that was produced over the course of the CREAte fellowship below:

Meet the CREAte Fellows 2022-23!
[Image Description: A black and white close up photo of Carbon. They are dressed in a black shirt against a white background with glasses and a short fade haircut. They are three quarter turned towards the camera with a serious expression on their face.]
South Africa
Carbon is a transgender black artist, activist, and intellectual. Carbon, a proud member of The Trans Collective, organizes for the emancipation of all (deliberately) oppressed individuals in “post-Apartheid” South Africa, with a special emphasis on neurodiversity and black transgender persons. Their work spans cinematography, photography, podcasting, poetry, paintings, performance art, and digital drawings.
By capturing the lived experiences of trans, neurodivergent, and disabled people, we advocate for the recognition of everyone’s humanity and their inherent right to all human rights, contributing to the advancement of knowledge at the intersection of sexual and gender diversity, intersex rights, and disability. This work increases cross-movement cooperation and expands networks through collaborations with artists from South Africa and the Atlantic, serving as a love letter to the authenticity of black trans neurodivergent living.
— Carbon, CREAte Fellow 2023
Not Dead Yet: A Solo Exhibition

Carbon uses art to express through a multimedia, performative exhibition “Not Dead Yet”, that centers on a performance art piece held in February 2023 in South Africa. Made through collaborations with various queer, trans, and disabled artists, the exhibition springboards from Carbon’s poetry on themes of disability, gender, and race. Carbon’s performance uses elements such as film, animation, poetry to reflect on how we have been raised and raise ourselves. It is a journey through a suicidal, neurodivergent, and bipolar brain coming to understand one’s own disabilities, musing on the joys and difficulties of transgender life, all while living as a black person in “post-Apartheid” South Africa.

This performance art piece has been collated into a zine with access to all parts of the exhibition. Through a collaborative effort, working with poetry editors, animators, music producers and other creatives, Carbon brings to life the pain, chaos, and complexity of the lives of communities and their existence. It is truly a transformation of Carbon’s personal experiences to be political.

“Everything that is personal is political and what is political, is public.” – Carbon

Carbon is also open to collaborations and/or requests to host this resource in alternative spaces.


[Image Description: A white image with “Not Yet Dead” on the top left-hand side followed by “a solo exhibition by Carbon”. The text is followed by two right-aligned text reading: “opening 13:00, 11/02/2023” and “performance starts: 13:30”. Below these lines, a black and white close-up picture of a swing set in the sun with the CREA logo on the bottom left side of the frame.]
[Image Description: A femme presenting person is sitting in the balcony of room on a blue couch swing. She is wearing a cream colour saree with dark blue border and blue printed blouse. She is also wearing a bindi, a nose ring and a blue band on her left hand that says Jai Bhim in Hindi.]
Bhanu Priya Gupta
Delhi, India
Bhanu Priya is a PhD scholar in Disability Studies at the University of Illinois, Chicago. She had to leave the PhD program because of lack of mental health support in the university. She has completed her M.Phil. in Women’s and Gender Studies from Ambedkar University, Delhi. Her areas of research and advocacy are gender, caste, disability and sexuality. She is a non-binary Bahujan queer feminist, and a person with psychosocial disabilities and chronic pain. She has also been a writer for In Plainspeak, Mad in Asia, Velivada, Criminal No More, and Gaysi Family.
Bhanu is the Founder of Crossroads Collective that is solely for and by Dalit-Bahujan-Adivasi people with disabilities, chronic conditions and caregivers, and queer-trans persons within these communities. In her role, Bhanu engages in movement building at the intersections of gender, disability, caste and sexuality.
The willingness of the group members to articulate complexity — that drove me all throughout. They were willing to work on their narratives. They were willing to learn how to write a narrative. They were willing to learn about social movements, history, about legal rights. The openness with which they have written the narratives — these are difficult experiences and I think that drove me all throughout. Seeing the first draft, hearing from, even I was one of the mentors, and hearing from my mentees the kind of narratives they want to write, was, it gave me hope. It gave me strength that we are doing something meaningful.
– Bhanu Priya Gupta, CREAte Fellow 2023
Living at Intersections: An Anthology of Personal Narratives

Exploring story-telling at the intersections of sexuality, disability, and caste, Bhanu published an anthology of personal narratives that tell the varied experiences of Dalit-Bahujan-Adivasi individuals living with disabilities and chronic illnesses. These first-hand stories are based off of a network established by Bhanu called Crossroads Collective that is maintained by and for Dalit-Bahujan people with disabilities.

Bhanu led a series of training, workshops, narrative writing sessions, and groundbreaking discussions around caste, disability, and queer spaces with the Collective to elicit and understand the range of experiences. These collective efforts enabled open discussion, with art and writing facilitating the sharing of difficult experiences and emotions. It is with recognition that there remains too little conversation around the themes of disability, sexuality, and caste.

Bhanu and her collective are also open for collaborations and/or requests to host this resource in alternative spaces.


[Image Description: A painted cream and purple background features four individuals sitting next to each other. The title centered at the top reads: “Living at Intersections: An Anthology of Personal Narratives by Crossroads Collective”. There is cream colored box at the bottom left that reads: “Editor: Bhanu Priya; Illustrations: Aishwarya, Prateek Draik”. A black box follows the bottom with the CREA and Crossroads Collective logo flanking each side.]
[Image Description: Photo of jialu pombo on an empty cobblestone street. They have white skin, short brown hair, and a thin body. They stand in the distance, look at the camera and hold the remote photo trigger, they wear white pants and a blue shirt. In the background there are two trees, small houses and the blue sky. Next to them is a fragment of an architectural construction.]
jialu pombo
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

jialu is has a PhD in Clinical Psychology at Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo, PUC/SP, Brazil. jialu’s research focuses on clinical processes and language creation as ways to decolonize life of the western society binarism structure. jialu also has a Masters in Visual Arts at Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, UFRJ, Brazil. As someone neurodivergent and gender dissident, jialu participates and engages through lectures, workshops, classes on gender and sexuality, body and language, creation processes and care practices. They have worked with art and activism in areas such as creation, production, archive and content organization and curatorship assistant.

Apart from academic studies, jialu has education from workshops and courses in subjects such as: botany; traditional and liturgical herbs; dance such as Butoh and Contact Improvisation; LGBTQI+ issues and philosophy; LIBRAS (brazilian sign language) and educational aspects of deafblindness.

We are all multiple, you know, inside us. We are not just one thing, and our sense of existence and our identities are always changing. Some things can be more permanent. But, we are always changing. I think intersectionality tries to deal with the multiple layers that everyone has, that is, in relation with the other layers of others. So for me it’s very important to not be stuck in a rigid sense of identity. Because the identity policies are very restricting around the immensity of our existence in the universe.

So I think intersectionality can help us to look at our existence in a larger way. Not just as an identity criteria. And even when we look at the identity criterias with intersectionality, we can remember the identities are also multiple and changing. And I think this could be connected with the sense of creation. I think creation is light. So what I was saying before, in my opinion, can help us to remember that we are creations, and that we are creating as we live. Because creation is not something rigid and something meditated on.

— jialu pombo, CREAte Fellow 2023
invisible diversity: intersectionality between invisible disabilities and gender & sexual diversity

jialu combines academia, storytelling, and poetry in a booklet on the intersectionality between invisible disabilities and gender and sexual diversity. The booklet, produced as two versions, in English and Portuguese, is a collection of stories about the experiences of six people (including jialu) from different regions of Brazil, whose invisible disabilities are also uniquely interconnected with their journey with gender and sexual diversity.

To tell these stories, jialu established a small network working with individuals including persons with hearing impairments (one of them with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder – ADHD), a person with a psychosocial disability, a person with fibromyalgia, and a person with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). jialu held informal one-on-one conversations and collective meetings with the individuals who form the backbone of this project. The process was a shared experience by both jialu and each individual — working together on thematic focus and storytelling. These experiences are preceded with an introduction based on jialu’s academic background that foregrounds invisible disabilities as necessary and important in how we define and think about disability. The stories weave together nuance and focus across multiple topics including gender identity, transition, accessibility, autonomy, sexuality, ableism, normativity and more. The booklet embodies jialu’s way of thinking — questioning and reflecting on issues — and is an attempt to communicate these reflections that can educate and allow for continuing and growing conversations.

jialu is open to collaborations and/or requests to host this resource in alternative spaces.


[Image Description: An abstract art piece in blue and red spreads throughout the image with the text “invisible diversity: intersectionality between invisible disabilities and gender & sexual diversity” on the top right-hand side of the cover.]
[Image Description: Nu can be seen holding a microphone and talking. They have short brown hair and are wearing a turquoise coat.]
Gurugram, India

Nu (they/them) identifies as a disabled and queer person and is a psychology graduate from Lady Shri Ram College For Women and is currently doing their masters in Gender Studies from TISS Bombay. They are a disability justice author, curator and editor. They are the founders of the United Nations recognized Revival Disability Community and firmly believe that intersectionality gives disabled folks the emotional skin to survive in the world and that vulnerability should be celebrated. According to them, the revolution would be incomplete without disabled joy and dissent. Their main aim through their community is to unhide disability and to “bring an accessible chair with armrests to the table so that they finally listen to us”. They have contributed their words in several publications, such as The Hindu, Feminism In India, Penguin Random House, The Print, Quint and Mid-day Mumbai. A debut author and a 2022 CREA fellow, they plan on taking up space in the world one limp at a time!

There is no guidebook that one can follow in terms of how to navigate dual oppressive systems of ableism and heteronormativity. There exists no guiding points on a presentation that teaches us how to deal with disability based queer violence. The visible and invisible markers of identity on our body determine our everyday fate in public and private spaces, they determine how we are perceived, and in turn how we perceive others.

— Nu, CREATE Fellow 2023
Disabled Folks Riot!

Nu makes bold and feminist articulation of gender, sexual diversity and disability through a narrative-based campaign titled “Disabled Folks Riot”. Recognizing the limited discussion around ableist and gendered abuse, the campaign focuses on disability-based violence against queer women, trans, and non-binary persons with disabilities. Nu employs their skills as a communicator, and experience spearheading social media campaigns and conversations, to design an accessible presentation — a resource to support the work of other non-governmental organizations and organizations working on gender-based violence (GBV) and disability-based abuse.

Conversations around GBV rarely feature disability, and similarly, the disability space requires a deeper look at the violence, particularly at the intersections of disability, gender and sexuality. Nu tackles this through the crafting of narratives on these topics, rarely articulated, often silenced.

Nu is open to collaborations and/or requests to host this resource in alternative spaces.


[Image Description: A brown, green and yellow illustration of a woman under a shawl with her fists raised centers the frame. A white box on the top left side houses the CREA logo, while the top right hand side has the text: “Revival Disability Community: A Campaign on Disability-based Violence against cis women, queer, trans, non-binary, persons with disabilities”. The speech bubble at the bottom center of the frame reads: “Introducing Disabled Folks Riot”.]
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Vino Dhanalakshmi
Coimbatore, India

Vinodhan (Dhanalakskmi) calls themselves a proud intersex. They are engaging and working in various ways for intersex, persons with disabilities and human rights activists. Vino is currently pursuing their master’s degree. They also have an undergraduate degree in psychology and a diploma in nursing and radiology. Vino is one of the co-founders for Intersex Human Right for India (IHRI) and a former Intersex Asia fellow. Vino also has written their biography as a book titled “WALKING THE INTERSEX ALLEY” which has been presented to various mental health and medical institutes for future generations of people to gain perspective on diversity.

I don’t even know the intersectionality in our region, [people] who are Dalit, who are intersex, who disabled. I don’t even hear something around the term intersectionality. Our voices are very low. Literally, it’s not there, to shout something. We are screaming, literally someone want to hear our voice, but there is no opportunity to hear our voice, what we really want. What is our rights. No one is known. That time I met CREA who are working for feminist woman, disability, and gender minorities. So that is the best motivation in my life. Because I am belonging to those communities — I am queer, I am intersex, and I am disability and I am a Dalit schedule caste person.

— Vino Dhanalakshmi, CREAte Fellow 2023
கருவிலங்கை | Karuvilangaai | I am I

Having grown up in Tamil Nadu as an intersex person with disabilities, Vino connects their personal experiences with those of others to publish a collection of stories of growing up and living at the intersections of intersex rights, caste, gender and sexual diversity, and disability. The book, கருவிலங்கை “Karuvilangaai” (I am I), written in Tamil and then translated to English is the first book in Tamil to explore the intersectional issues of people in Tamil Nadu. It is a compilation of forgotten stories that tell the impact of intersex stigma on communities and a call for intersex rights.

Vino took up the difficult task of connecting with other intersex people in Tamil Nadu to collate narratives and organize events that brought visibility to the challenges faced by intersex people. Through these events they raised awareness on LGBTIQ+ related issues among the disability community, led the sensitization of disability issues among the queer community, and held events on disability, gender, and sexuality with educators and stakeholder from non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Vino’s work highlights the lack of basic education around intersex and the role of culture and cultural expectations, particularly around gender, and the deep impact this has had and continues to have on individuals. The book also includes a set of guidelines for medical personnel, media, educational institutions, and the government to help mitigate these challenges.

Vino pre-launched the book at an event in Chennai with the Aniyam Publishing House. The event included officials belonging to the governing political party in Tamil Nadu and various disabled and queer participants.

Vino is open for collaborations and/or requests to host this resource in alternative spaces.


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[Image Description: A portrait of a dark skinned african women’s face obscured by a black transparent veil that runs just under her eyes covering the bottom of her face. Visible under the veil is gold jewellery wire running over her nose, curving under her cheek and over her ear to form a simple crown/halo at the back of her head. Her hair is parted down the middle and braided in two flat twists and just under her chin the edges of a lush green monstera leaf is visible. The left side of her face and the background is cast in shadow.]
Awuor Onyango
Nairobi, Kenya

Awuor Onyango is a writer and multidisciplinary artist based in Nairobi, Kenya. Their work is concerned with (re)claiming public space erased/appropriated and/or disallowed to people considered black, femme and other. Through writing, design, photography, experimental film, multisensorial installation and fine art, they explore issues of access, transgression, shame and discomfort of the (continental) black femme. Awuor’s recent exhibitions include: Body of Land, Glasgow international 2021, Library of Silence ii: Stellenbosch Trienale, Genesis: Autonomous bodies, Iwalewa Haus, Bayreuth, A Celebration of Queer Love, Appropriation and other practises, HBK Braunschweig (2018), School of Anxiety, Jo’Burg Art Fair, Johannesburg (2017), Freedom Corner, Nairobi (2018), Berlin Biennale of Contemporary Art, Berlin (2018), Parts Unknown, Anthony Bourdain Pop Up, Nairobi (2018).

…That’s why it’s called B is for bodies. It’s supposed to be kind of like an unofficial feminist alphabet that’s accessible to everyone. I just wanted to have a conversation with kids, but also with everyone, because I didn’t think it was a conversation that was happening in the Kenyan space, about all these intersections and all these histories in a way that wasn’t an academic paper. It’s a way that invites you in, is accessible, is easy to read, to color, to talk about, to distribute, so that hopefully other conversations grow from it, and the conversations that grow from it can be conversations with a seven-year old, or conversations with a 70 year old, who, remembers one of the historical figures, or one of the movements.

— Awuor Onyango, CREAte Fellow 2023
B is for Bodies

As an artist, Awour turned to the concept of an illustrated coloring book zine with an accompanying podcast to uncover inclusive diverse feminist histories at the intersection of LGBTQ, feminist, and disability actions in Kenya. “B is for Bodies” is an introductory exploration of the body as voice. The zine, through a series of figures and movements in Kenyan history, explores what space there is for a diverse cross section of bodies in protest and movement work.

The coloring book enables Awour to reach their intended audience of diverse communities in Kenya without or with limited access to online spaces. Along with an online version is a two-page printable version that can be folded into a zine at low cost. For Awour, access also means a simplicity in language that allows the zine to be accessed by individuals of a wide age range, from a seven-year old to a 70-year old! The book aims to simplify the specialized language used by social movements to allow users to go back to the basics, and to color and reflect on the representation of people with disabilities and their bodies.

The companion podcast is a poetic narration of historical social movement mobilizations and other events in Kenya; reminding listeners to refuse to be silenced especially with regard to their disabilities or bodies.

Awour is also open for collaborations and/or requests to host this resource in alternative spaces.


[Image Description: A blue cover with a thick “B” in the middle followed by “is for bodies: every body counts” below it. A handwritten script says, “Illustrated by Awuor Onyango” at the bottom. The text “colouring book!” flanks the big B from the left-hand side.]
See here for a two-page printable version that can be folded into a zine (with folding instructions).