Lankan Tamil blood, Manchester born, Texas bred and Brooklyn steeped, YaliniDream is a queer performance artist, activist, and facilitator. One of the South Asian American community’s most prominent performance poets, YaliniDream has toured throughout the US, Canada, Europe and South Asia, performing in venues ranging from NYC’s Lincoln Center to subway cars to street protests to refugee camps to the hottest clubs in the New York underground. She was the Director of Mango Tribe’s NYC run of “Sisters in the Smoke” and “Creation Myth Project,” and served as the group’s Interim Artistic Director in 2007. As a movement artist, YaliniDream is trained in ballet, modern, jazz, Laban Movement Analysis, hip hop dance, and the aerial technique corde lisse. She holds a BA in Theater with a concentration in Acting & Directing from the University of Texas, Austin.
Nandini Nessa is a Brooklyn-based writer and educator at work on her first novel, “Bright Lines.” Her written work has been published in the Dash Literary Journal, Escape into Life, Brooklyn Bodega, Thought Catalog and Squirm Magazine, and her multimedia play “Nayana’s Passing” premiered at the 2005 Dixon Place HOT! Festival. She is also a teaching artist who started Make the Road NY’s “Bushwick Youth Theatre Collective,” where she produced youth-directed plays at venues including the WOW Cafe Theatre. From 2006-2007 she spent a year working and writing in New Delhi through the Clinton Fellowship for Service in India. She holds a BA in Women’s Studies from Vassar College and an MFA in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College.
Bushra Rehman’s mother says Bushra was born in an ambulance flying through the streets of Brooklyn. Her father is not so sure, but it would explain a few things. Bushra was a vagabond poet who traveled for years with nothing more than a greyhound ticket and a book bag full of poems. She is co-editor of “Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism,” a seminal text on women of color and feminism, and author of “Marianna’s Beauty Salon,” a collection of poetry. Her work has been featured on BBC Radio 4, KPFA, the Brian Lehrer Show, in The New York Times, India Currents and NY Newsday, and in numerous journals and anthologies. Her novella, “Bhangra Blowout,” is forthcoming through Upset Press. She holds an MFA from Brooklyn College.
Amita Swadhin is a bicoastal educator, activist and storyteller working to end interpersonal and institutional violence against young people. She is the Coordinator and a cast member of “Secret Survivors,” a theater project she created with the award-winning NYC-based Ping Chong & Co. featuring survivors of child sexual abuse telling their stories, and is working on “Sathya Stories: Truth Over Taboo,” a multimedia exhibit expanding survivors’ voices in the public domain. Over the past decade, Amita has given presentations and performed nationwide, including appearances at Harvard, Oberlin, the New School, El Museo del Barrio, Queens Museum of Art, the US Social Forum, the Allied Media Conference, and public schools throughout NYC. She co-hosts the weekly radio show “Flip the Script” on KPFK-LA when on the west coast, and holds a Bachelor’s in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and an MPA from NYU, where she was a Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship.