In the small neighborhood of Bandra in Mumbai, Aqui Thami has founded the first community-owned feminist library, Sister Library. It houses all the greats from Virginia Woolf to Arundhati Roy. Dazed Digital held an exclusive interview with Thami talking about the importance of such a community staple.
In her interview, Thami explains why Sister Library was necessary in starting conversations in India:
“Since our society is caste segregated, knowledge production and sharing has always been historically restricted, so even if there are amazing works by women they are in universities and private libraries with no or limited access.”
image via dazed digital
Thami herself is an artist and activist, saying that her art is her form of activism. She has been using it to spark conversations for all areas of feminism including sexual abuse and periods. To fund the library, she raised over 700,000 rupees through crowdfunding sources to allow her to rent out the space for a year. She isn’t closing these sources, however, hoping that she can eventually raise enough to keep their doors open permanently.
Even on its first day, the library had inspired the neighborhood of sisters to come together. On its opening day, there were around sixty visitors. Women and young girls from around the neighborhood helped with unloading boxes, killing cockroaches, and setting up for business, making its name even more fitting. After all, Thami is looking for this to be more than just a building with books. She wants it to be fun for the whole community, where anyone can come to learn or just have a safe space to hang out.
Aqui Thami’s story is absolutely inspiring, and you can help her cause by making a donation.