Janani Balasubramanian and Alok Vaid-Menon, are the founders/creators of the South Asian performance art duo, Darkmatter. Fashion icons, protestors/poets/playwrights, household names in New York City, they are pioneering trans voice everything. From poetry to video to posts, they are a mélange of sound and power.
Janani Balasubramanian and Alok Vaid-Menon articulate their insights on more than just gender issues. While they do, indeed, support the trans community, their goals appeal to opening chakras and third eyes. Both poignant and permuted in style, Balasubramanian and Vaid-Menon offer enlightenment in the form of letters and social media posts, videos and travel. They predicate their knowledge on an internal realization that comes from distancing ourselves from the colonizer, from the machine(s); they seem to be saying strike a yoga pose, look within, let the artifice of social constructs fade away, far, far away into oblivion; then, start anew.
They discuss the missing or stifled trans voice of colour. They share tragedies in the trans world, they make us aware, they make us feel, they make us more human. Their pages burgeon with voices that have been hushed; they write to stimulate, they write to sharpen minds, they write to sever ties with an unsympathetic world. Binary people and media-machines are creating limited narratives. Darkmatter creates to challenge your vision, question categories, and push you towards the tipping point; all in the name of trans.
It is the surmounting social standard they seek to subordinate; Darkmatter’s force fostering the formidable failure. Listen quietly, Darkmatter exists within you. Words speak to open wounds. To speak is to expose truths and realities and heartaches, constructing a web which can hold us all when we need to be held. Darkmatter cradles. It is a universe that twinkles in the moments when we need it most in that dark hole in which we’ve been living.
Not only do they elevate the trans voice, but the voice of the other. Other being a lose interpretation; anyone who is not a product of the machine, a robot –one who refuses to regurgitate theory or educational schemes &/or rhymes. Darkmatter has its own language, a language that builds character, ideas, and integrity all in the name of art and love.
Most of us are products of some dynamic, but Darkmatter wants us to be products of our natural selves. Did you know that true freedom cannot exist in a binary space? Check your ideas and what freedom means. Things supposedly in opposition can live in harmony, there is tandem, there is peace in co-existing; Darkmatter kicks knowledge. May we become uncontainable and unidentifiable; may we frighten the State and it’s people. Join Darkmatter and fellow fighters.
Watch this video to learn about how breaking up with success promotes better, real human beings:
Find Darkmatter here:
PHOTO CREDIT: https://www.facebook.com/darkmatterpoetry/timeline
WORDS BY Jacklyn Janeksela