VICE / January 18, 2017
She perpetuated the trauma that I had sought out therapy for in the first place.
BuzzFeed / September 26, 2016
Cuban santero Rudy Guardiola has hundreds of “godchildren” in New York and around the US. Like the religion itself, many of its followers, including young people who were drawn to Santeria over trendier forms of spirituality, are in a constant struggle to survive. At Rudy’s botanica, they find safety, healing, and hope.
BuzzFeed / April 27, 2016
Hindi cinema’s obsession with chastity has long helped fuel sexual violence and victim-blaming in India. Independent film is finally changing that.
BuzzFeed / March 10, 2016
Training for a marathon changed my body, and changed my relationship with it, too. Just not in the way I expected.
Open City / October 1, 2015
One writers group was robbed at gunpoint in Ditmas Park. The police and the community’s reactions were swift, but both seemed to miss the bigger picture.
India Abroad / September 25, 2015
After the jury could not reach a verdict in the Sureshbhai Patel case, Chaya Babu speaks to the prosecution and the defense about what this means and what next.
India Abroad / September 18, 2015
Chaya Babu reports on the endless spiral of hatred and a daily question of survival that it raises.
The Margins / September 10, 2015
On Sunday, August 30, we invited five writers to the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Park to respond to works in the Museum’s exhibition of Indian modernist and contemporary art, After Midnight, which closes this Sunday, September 13. This piece was written in response to Subodh Gupta’s multi-media sculpture “What does the room encompass that is not in the city?”
India Abroad / September 4, 2015
After NYPD settles racial profiling lawsuit with Chaumtoli Huq but refuses basic reforms she asked for, the human rights attorney speaks to Chaya Babu about what next.
Open City / September 2, 2015
In Kensington, young Bangladeshi activists fight against apathy and inaction in the local community by organizing around the murder of a 13-year-old boy in Bangladesh earlier this summer.
India Abroad / August 28, 2015
Subcontinental artistes were delighted to find their own identifiable performing space with the entry of a new fest.
The Brooklyn Quarterly / August 13, 2015
When it comes to the shops that dot Church Avenue and some of its cross streets, the bodega essence is palpable. Some are called “delis,” others “groceries” and “markets.” A neon ATM sign inevitably flashes in the window.
Duke Magazine / July 28, 2015
On being beautiful without a marker of beauty.
India Abroad / July 24, 2015
Maria Qamar, the illustrator behind Hatecopy, speaks about her pop art-inspired desi comics and how art keeps her sane.
India Abroad / July 24, 2015
After a hate attack on an Indian-American man in New Jersey, Chaya Babu visits the neighborhood where he lives and was assaulted, and finds a family and a community that is shocked, outraged and scared.
India Abroad / July 10, 2015
With the Supreme Court legalizing same-sex marriage nationally, Chaya Babu reports on the victories gained and the battles that remain.
The Feminist Wire / May 14, 2015
The other day, I furiously penned a blog post after two simultaneous attacks that I am not the right kind of woman.
Open City / May 12, 2015
“Nobody wears those, so it’s kind of funny that you do,” she said, blowing swirls of smoke out of the corner of her mouth…
The Brooklyn Quarterly / May 1, 2015
This week, lawyers representing Purvi Patel, the Indiana woman sentenced to twenty years in prison for what she maintains was a miscarriage (a jury convicted her of feticide in February), filed an appeal. If they succeed, it will be the first step in exonerating Patel of wrongdoing. It will also be a sorely needed victory for reproductive rights in America.
India Abroad / May 8, 2015
After University of Oklahoma's Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter sparked national outrage with a racist chant caught on tape, Chaya Babu tracks how race shapes Greek life on American campuses.
India Abroad / April 10, 2015
Puvi Patel is the first woman in the US to be sentenced to prison for feticide. Chaya Babu reports on the verdict and the ripples of shock and fear.
India Abroad / February 13, 2015
There is heart, vulnerability, rawness and often melancholy in DarkMatter's poetry, but Janani Balasubramanian and Alok Vaid-Menon are no less adept at sarcasm and satire. Chaya Babu spotlights the desi spoken word duo that is fast growing in visibility.
Open City / December 12, 2014
Community organizing can be lonely work when you’re battling ghosts from a violent past.
India Abroad / October 31, 2014
Rapper Himanshu Suri chats with Chaya Babu about rediscovering himself.
India Abroad / October 10, 2014
On the other side of 7th Avenue, Chaya Babu finds a counter-narrative to the Indian American's love story with Narendra Modi.
The Brooklyn Quarterly / August 22, 2014
As protests against the handling of Michael Brown’s death rage on in Ferguson, M.O., the scene, as well as its cause and its location, has scholars and the broader public pointing to the various ways the brutal death of a young black male is a direct legacy of America’s racially-divided past, with poignant resonance with specific moments in history.
India Abroad / August 22, 2014
Thenmozhi Soundararajan works to break the shackles of caste for Dalits.
India Abroad / May 2, 2014
Chaya Babu discovers the musical influences that shape the unique vision of singer Kavita Shah.
CIMA Magazine / January 2, 2014
“Was she a victim – or had she taken charge of her own destiny?” Gaiutra Bahadur asks of her great-grandmother in Coolie Woman: The Odyssey of Indenture. Her new book paints a picture of life as an indentured woman in the West Indies, the oppression, harsh physical labor, violence, misogyny; the muddled contradiction of a reality that offered more choice than previously imaginable while harboring a vortex of endless sexual exploitation.
Racialicious / November 19, 2013
When two famous black feminists take the stage to discuss social justice and feminism, or more specifically, how race and class impact african american women’s experiences in the US, why is it that i, an indian american woman from pretty, affluent briarcliff manor, new york, feel at home? how is this where i feel whole, recognized, and validated?
India Abroad / November 15, 2013
Chaya Babu gets a peek into the inside world of Anil Gupta, one of the world's top inkers
India Abroad / October 25, 2013
Kathari's short story of her first day on American soil as an Indian immigrant is among the stories collected by the South Asian American Digital Archive, a non-profit organization based in Philadelphia, as a part of the First Days Project.
India Abroad / August 9, 2013
Brut-Nama, on display at a New York gallery, is not meant to portray a widely accepted meaning of the Muslim man; it brings into focus a more nuanced, multi-faceted understanding.
India Abroad / July 12, 2013
There is pride and relief, but peppered with voices that point out why the DOMA ruling is a problematic solution.
The Feminist Wire / May 25, 2013
I was a few weeks into my freshman year at Duke when my sister, a senior at the time, said to me, “Indian girls who date black guys are sluts.” Just like that.
The Daily Voice / March 28, 2013
More billboards dealing with Israel and Islam could be going up this week at Metro-North train stations in Westchester.
The Daily Voice / March 26, 2013
Advertisements with a controversial message against U.S. foreign policy toward Israel went up Monday at Metro-North train stations across Westchester County.
The Daily Voice / March 14, 2013
A group gathered in front of the Village of Mamaroneck Courthouse Thursday morning to protest what they called racial profiling and aggressive treatment by police, and to show support for Luis Quiros, a Mamaroneck man who was arrested in front of his home on Feb. 14.
Helter Skelter / January 9, 2013
It was late summer. One of those warm, balmy New York nights where you stand outside of the bar chatting for an hour instead of going home. Or you walk idly, perhaps taking the long way. Sometimes, when I was younger, on evenings like this, my girl friends and I would plop ourselves down on the sidewalk wherever we pleased, weary from our high heels, to scarf down a late-night snack from a street vendor.
Digital Natives with a Cause: Changing the Face of Citizen Action (page 11) / December 1, 2012
Can you attribute activism and charity to a ‘savior’ complex, or is there something more behind taking up a cause and showering generosity on those less fortunate than us? Chaya Babu explores the Kony 2012 campaign in its aftermath.
The Sunday Guardian / April 8, 2012
Kony 2012—the most “viral” video ever—was applauded & criticized in equal measure. This week they released a sequel. Chaya Babu looks at how the Net is shaping activism.
The Alternative / March 30, 2012
Social organizations – non-profits, social enterprises and the ilk, are constantly morphing to seek structures that best fit their complex dual missions to achieve social impact and profit. Is this constant structure flux leading to mission drift?
The Wall Street Journal / March 26, 2012
Before I moved to Mumbai from New York a little over a year ago, an email popped into my inbox with the subject “kurti.” In it was a link that clicked through to a page of Internet search results with hundreds of small photos of short, kameez-style tops in an array of colors, some simple, some beaded or printed. The email, from a friend who had recently returned from a trip to India, was intended to help me adjust to my new life there.
The Alternative / March 9, 2012
‘Saving Face’ at the Oscar awards may have brought home, at least momentarily, the gruesome reality of acid attacks in South Asia. But what can it really do for this brutal form of violence that is becoming very widespread even as it is remains rarely spoken about?
The Alternative / March 1, 2012
While looking to provide sustainable livelihoods and lives of dignity to marginalised tribal populations in Orissa, Gram Vikas found an unlikely community empowerment solution: toilets.
The Alternative / February 12, 2012
Perspectives from the Koodankulam nuclear reactor struggle.
The Alternative / Februrary 12, 2012
Over 2 decades of protest, 14,000 crores and many Governments later, the Koodankulam nuclear reactor project seems to be speeding towards project completion now. A look at the 25-year old eventful history of the plant that claims that it can light up Tamil Nadu.
The Alternative / January 30, 2012
I recently witnessed my first non-flash mob. Let me explain.
The Sunday Guardian / January 15, 2012
Naresh Fernandes’ 'Taj Mahal Foxtrot' is a testimonial to a Bombay that once cherished cosmopolitanism and freedom. He tells Chaya Babu about the city’s romance with jazz, and points to its increasing intellectual and cultural parochialism.
The Alternative / November 19, 2011
Initiatives like Awaaz-e-Niswaan are helping women slowly break out of a social order that has stifled them from expressing themselves for generations.
OPEN Magazine / November 5, 2011
Forget anything subversive, or even original. Almost everything they call ‘high street fashion’ in Mumbai is borrowed.
Gaper Block / October 25, 2011
Luis Deleón's black "Baked is Better" Costello's t-shirt and camo shorts are covered with a creased, tomato-red apron. He bends down near the back wall of the sandwich shop to tear open a cardboard FritoLay box. Two short, dark crescents of eyebrows cap his close-set eyes, which seem small on his oblong face that rounds at the jaw, meeting his thick neck at a stubbly curve. The apron-tie stretches around his waist, cutting him slightly in the soft sides of his barrel-like body.
Associated Press / October 22, 2011
More than 200 Indian girls whose names mean "unwanted" in Hindi have chosen new names for a fresh start in life. A central Indian district held a renaming ceremony Saturday that it hopes will give the girls new dignity and help fight widespread gender discrimination that gives India a skewed gender ratio, with far more boys than girls. [Published widely, including on Huffington Post, MSNBC, Salon, and more]