My third nomination for the Sisterhood category is Aparna Nagesh.
In a brief interaction at TEDxChennai, our bond was cemented. What followed was the powerful crystallization of one feminist effort after another: be that nurturing careers of young women through mentorships or using dance, theatre and poetry to present evocative art before audiences to encourage a change in mindsets, the two of us have worked together on some incredibly life changing projects. Aparna is a stellar example of what it is to be a sister: she builds, holds, nurtures, and expands spaces through love and inclusion, building bridges where there were never any to begin with.
What strikes me most about Aparna is her unconditionally giving nature. I have seen her open doors as an artist, encouraging the seed of change to grow in the most unlikeliest of minds. I have seen her work against systems that have been dead set against including her. I have seen her hold her own with a powerful resilience amidst a sea of men steeped in patriarchal power. I have seen Aparna take on narrow cultural barriers and engage with them to the point that their dismantling in her hands has helped other women sail through on a path she painstakingly cut. Aparna may be new on World Pulse, but she has embodied, embraced, and endorsed everything World Pulse has ever stood for, every day of her life. This nomination, then, is celebrating a new sister on World Pulse, but a longstanding ally who holds these values so dear.