Sister Library was founded by artist and activist Aqui Thami who began collecting and reading books exclusively by women four years ago. Now she is packing those books and visiting cities across India to encourage everybody to read more women and spark conversations around the representation of women in books - both within and outside their pages.
She explains “I always wanted a feminist library space but did not know what form it would take.” Yesterday, she arrived in Pune with books by both Indian and international female authors, poets and artists to set up a pop up library at TIFA Working Studios, our favourite arts space in Pune.
This travelling library is supported by the Inlaks Fine Art Award 2018 and will visit four more cities including Kochi, Bangalore, Bombay and Goa. Pune is its second stop after the capital.
A zinester, PhD student and one of the best people we know, Aqui and partner Himanshu also run Bombay Underground and Dharavi Art Room, where they teach art to over a thousand underprivileged kids in Dharavi year round and uplift the neighbourhood with public art projects like Muralwallahs. (We’re buying their zines for our subscribers during this year’s fundraiser)
There are with novels and non-fiction, condensed academic texts, self published books, graphic novels and zines. “I curated about 100 books for this edition. There are some popular feminist titles as well as lesser known publications that may not be easily available," says Aqui. Though the library is made for browsing, visitors (and yes, men are most welcome) can also buy zines to take home or drop off books by women to add to the catalogue.
It’s not often you find yourself in the company of these many incredible women. Spare an afternoon, pick a book, pull up a chair and enjoy this very special reading room.
Sister Library pops up daily from 3pm - 7pm until Sunday 15th July at TIFA. Follow them on Instagram to keep up with their whereabouts and discover more women's work.