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#BlindianProject redefining BLACK x South asian RELATIONSHIPS.

OUR STORY:

The #BlindianProject launched in 2017, following a family trip to India. I've never felt anxious about traveling before. But on the day of our departure, an Al-Jazeera article titled, "African Victims of Racism in India Share Their Stories," appeared on my phone. According to the reports, street mobs were looking to cause harm to anyone who resembled an African. The events weren't a one-off incident, rather another story of anti-Black sentiment deep-rooted within the South Asian community.

I'm well aware of the complexities between Black and South Asian relationships. As a father of two Blindian children, this story inspired me to reflect on how trailblazing our "Blindian" unions are. And, why they are even more relevant today.

The #BlindianProject is a crowdsourced gallery, sharing the stories of Black x South Asian couples from around the world. Through compelling visuals, nuanced storytelling, and experiential events, our mission is to unite Black x Brown communities.

When we first got married, aunties always made a point of mentioning other Black x Indian couples they "knew.” It took 10-years to meet another person/couple that shared our experiences. The #BlindianProject is a platform to share our stories - Jonah Batambuze

As we stood on the tube platform, tears slowly ran down my now wife’s cheek. “What’s the matter?” I asked, confused at what had caused her to suddenly become emotional.

“I can’t be with you,” she replied.

This was the moment that I realised the guilt that consumed her for being in a relationship with a Black man.

Read Managing The Guilt of A Blindian Relationship by: A. Law

Black x South Asian relationships are far from conventional. And, meeting each other's parents is often an emotional roller coaster. Listen to Jenova and Denzel share their experience of meeting each other’s families. And, find out what happened when Denzel shows up to meet Jenova's parent's resume and cover letter in hand

“I met my fiancé Ben on Bumble, after moving to Pennsylvania for graduate school. I was testing the waters with dating apps and didn’t expect to actually meet someone I would want to have a relationship with. At the same time, my parents had started to look for guys for me from India. I became worried about them and told them I was talking to Ben before we even started a relationship. The way they treated me was so hurtful that I realized that my parents focus on family reputation, wealth status, career etc. wasn’t my main lens for viewing a partner. I decided to ask myself what I prioritize the most. Was it pleasing my parents/family and seeking their approval of me? Or, staying true to myself. Because I don’t fear interracial relationships, they do. I don’t fear another culture, they do. I don’t need to follow my family into fear. Once I decided to separate myself from that, I decided to move forward dating Ben and see if we are even complementary to each other. It was important to set healthy boundaries with them so I didn’t let them affect our relationship. After two-years together, we’re getting married later this year. The main thing I would share is to not let fear control us. Fear is inevitable, but sometimes we just have to do it scared. My fiancé and I are very different people and our backgrounds are polar opposites. Instead of letting the differences become a limiting factor in our relationship, we have decided to learn more about each other and allow it to build our character. It’s easy to stay in our comfort zone and only interact with people we are used to being around. We want to encourage people to build bridges between cultures, ethnicities, socioeconomic statuses, religions, political affiliations, etc.”

The #BlindianProject is a crowdsourced gallery, sharing the stories of Black x Indian couples from around the world. 2020 is our year. To participate tag your photos on social with the hashtag #BlindianProject — or email us on kampind@gmail.com.

Jonah Batambuze is a multidisciplinary creative with a focus on cultural design and community building. His work focuses on uplifting the underdog and connecting communities through online & offline activations. Batambuze co-founded KampInd in 2015, and his crowdsourced online campaigns have garnered media placements in BBC World News, ITV London, Metro U.K., BBC Radio London, The Times of India.

Created By
Jonah Batambuze
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