Lean Left: Young Radical Voices

Flash back to the first time you met another Desi lefty. Can you remember the quickening of your heart? Your excitement at finding someone who cared about the same issues and communities? For most of us, the moment we realized we weren’t alone in the world, struggling against the conservative expectations of our parents, aunties and uncles - when we realized that we had sisters and brothers in the cause who understand where we come from and where we wanted this world to go - was life-changing. 

In this issue, we have the rare chance to watch this process unfold anew, as our young authors look back at their experience attending three different activist camps for South Asian American youth. In these reflections from participants of Bay Area Solidarity Summer (BASS), Chicago Desi Youth Rising (CDYR) and East Coast Solidarity Summer (ECSS), high school and college youth share their ongoing conversations about social justice, resistance, and solidarity, the ways they’re continuing to use political education for collective liberation, and what it felt like to find (as they put it) “a warm, brown family in which to take respite.” 

This issue also features striking poetry from ECSS participant Shireen Hamza, and reflections from CYDR participant Alisha Roopchand and an anonymous participant from ECSS. We also feature a special photo essay from the Ghadar Day celebration in the Bay Area captured by Anirman Chatterjee and Kalai Ramea and Rupali Ghosh’s review of the young adult novel Talking of Muskaan by Himanjali Sankar. 

To check out and support what’s planned for this summer, please visit and share the links below:

BASS: Aug. 13-17, 2015


CDYR: Aug. 14-15, 2015


ECSS: July 24-26, 2015





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