Oct 2015 28 – 29

Porn. Panic. Ban: A Conversation on Sexual Expression, Pornography, Sexual Exploitation, Consent

Shervani Hotel, Nehru Place, New Delhi

Point of View and the Internet Democracy Project are organising a conference in order to hold and facilitate an informed conversation on sexual expression, pornography, sexual exploitation and consent. This conference is a first attempt to have an indepth civil society conversation - among activists, lawyers, researchers working on either gender, sexuality or internet rights, or at their intersections.

Background

Many believe it is the right time to have a national conversation on the related issues of sexual expression, pornography, sexual exploitation and consent, given recent and emerging policy trends.

Gender, sexuality or digital rights activists have been discussing these issues in smaller groups. Some have made submissions to the Rajya Sabha against banning online pornography while some are conducting research to better understand these issues.

But we have yet to have a cross-movement dialogue around these issues. We have yet to develop a collective voice that articulates our realities, positions and concerns. We may aspire to change the conversation around these issues, but our voice is missing, invisible or not adequately heard in the public, policy and legal discourses surrounding them.

This conference intends to bring such relevant voices to this conversation on sexual expression, pornography, sexual exploitation and consent.

Agenda

Day 1 - Wednesday 28th October 2015 

Time Details
0900 - 0930 Who Why What Why now? (Introductions, Objectives, Agenda)
0930 - 1030 Keynote: Porn Again! The Thrills and Threats of a Fugitive Genre
Shohini Ghosh, Sajjad Zaheer Professor of Media
AJK Mass Communication Research Center, Jamia Millia Islamia
1030 - 1100 Tea & Coffee
1100 - 1200 ‘Memory dekhna hai kya?’: Sexual Expression in the Digital Age Panel: 30 Minutes - 5 Minutes Each
Shals Mahajan, LABIA, queer feminist & writer
Prabha Nagaraja, TARSHI, sexual & reproductive rights activist
Nidhi Goyal, POV/CREA, gender & disability rights activist
Meena Seshu, SANGRAM, sex workers’ rights activist
Avantika Mehta, The Hindustan Times, journalist
Jaya Sharma, Kinky Collective, queer feminist & BDSM community member

Discussion
1200 - 1315 The Legit and the Illegit: The Contours of Sexual Expression Panel: 35 Minutes - 5 Minutes Each
Kalki Subramaniam, Sahodari, on transbodies, programmed images, sexual exploitation
Nayantara Ranganathan, Internet Democracy Project, on private censorship
Smita Vanniyar, Point of View, on how platforms treat sex ex as gendered
Siddharth Narain, SARAI, on online hate speech related to gender/sexuality
Rohini Lakshane, Centre for Internet & Society, on amateur porn

Discussion
1315 - 1415 Lunch
1415 - 1500 The Faultlines of Consent
Real Net Natives, a 15-min video by Aritra Bhattacharya for CCDS
A Short History of Consent, a 10-min visual walkthrough by Bishakha Datta, POV

Discussion
1500 - 1530 The Imagined, the Perceived and the Real: Where is the harm? Group work (30 minutes)
1530 - 1600 Tea & Coffee (In Groups, If Needed)
1600 - 1645 Report Back (30 minutes) Discussion
1645 - 1730 Sexual Expression in the Law: What does it mean?
MS Nappinai, Technology Law Forum/Supreme Court Bar Association
Responses: Namita Malhotra, Alternative Law Forum/Amba Salelkar, Inclusive Planet

Day 2 - Thursday 29th October 2015 

Time Details
0900 - 0930 Recap refresh: key points from yesterday, flagging unfinished agendas
0930 - 1015 Keynote: Digital Manipulation: Selves, Selfies and Sunny Leone
Paromita Vohra, ParoDevi Pictures, filmmaker, writer and columnist

Discussion
1015 - 1100 Children, Sexuality, Abuse and Expression Panel: 30 minutes – 15 minutes each
Vidya Reddy, Tulir Centre for the Prevention & Healing of Child Sexual Abuse
Anuja Gupta, Recovering and Healing from Incest

Discussion
1100 - 1130 Tea & Coffee
1130 - 1330 Laws, Lives and Expression Panel: 15-20 minutes per speaker with questions after each
Anja Kovacs, Internet Democracy Project, on summary of objections to porn ban
Debarati Halder, CCVCC, on Indecent Representation of Women Act
Aarthi Pai, CASAM, on bid to define sexual exploitation
Flavia Agnes, Majlis, on related legislative and judicial patterns
1330 - 1430 Lunch
1430 - 1500 Video: It’s Time For Porn To Change (TEDx Talk by Erika Lust, 12 mins)
Video: Krutch (Experimental short film by Clark Matthews, 4 mins)
Video: Make Love, Not Porn (TEDx Talk by Cindy Gallop, 4 mins)
1500 - 1545 Defrocking the Law
Namita Malhotra, ALF, on defining/understanding obscenity – 5 minutes

The Prurient, the Explicit, and the Private
An exploratory study on Section 67, 67A and 66E of the IT Act – 20 minutes
Bishakha Datta, Jasmine Lovely George, Smita Vanniyar, Arpita Bhagat (POV)

Discussion
1545 - 1600 Tea & Coffee
1600 - 1645 Group Work on Key Takeaways/Principles
1645 - 1700 Report Back
1700 - 1730 Next Steps, Way Forward, Wrap Up

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