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Rainbow Series – Day 5: Awesome Ants and the Why-Why Girl

‘Awesome ants and the why-why girl’*

Since the start of the pandemic, I’ve been having rather vivid dreams. In one, I was in a mask-making factory and was stitching masks alongside hundreds of factory workers. In another, all human beings had a piece of the jigsaw puzzle and if we worked together to solve it, we would find the vaccine for covid-19…. The dreams are no doubt bizarre and waking up from them I am exhausted the next day but I’m convinced that working hard and working together, as people seem to do in my dreams, is the only way we can all make it! How many lives must be lost before this is understood?!

*I’ve taken inspiration for the title and some of the designs in this artwork from two of my son’s storybooks, Mahasweta Devi’s (2003) The Why-Why Girl, Chennai: Tulika, with illustrations by Kanyika Kini, and Vinitha’s (2018) Sara Learns To Fly, New Delhi: Katha, with illustrations by Nirzara Verulkar.

Radhika Govinda is a feminist sociologist whose work is on the gender politics of development, intersectionality and feminist knowledge production. She lives and works in Edinburgh, and can be reached at Twitter: @GovindaRadhika

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