Diva: A Quarterly Journal of Women of South Asian Origin

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The journal Diva was borne out of the desires of a small group of South Asian feminist women based in Toronto. We wanted to create an alternative platform of feminist dialogue. There was consensus that ‘mainstream’ feminist avenues left us feeling invisible, without a voice and political space from which we could speak. We wanted to create our own platform from which we could express ourselves and be heard, not just as South Asian women within Canada but as part of an international feminist community with roots in the Indian subcontinent. It was a bold concept for the times: think globally, act locally!

The journal covered a broad range of feminist issues. We addressed the challenges women faced as immigrants and as women of colour, experiences that were unique to us and yet missing from the wider feminist conversation. We engaged in an international dialogue with feminists around the globe, with special attention to South Asia. A unique and special component of the journal was the allocation of space for creative writing and artwork. Local women writers who might otherwise not have had the opportunity to be published were given a space to creatively express their life stories, experiences, unique to them as South Asian women. Through painstaking translation by the editor, readers were given the opportunity to enjoy the works of gifted women writers from South Asia.

We began as a small group of dedicated women, and despite our growing popularity over the years, we were unable to sustain ourselves. As often happens, when the enthusiasm and commitment of the volunteers that keep a publication running become fragmented, it can no longer maintain itself. And so after six years, Diva ceased to publish.

From 1988 to 1996, Diva provided a much needed social forum for South Asian women to express themselves and be heard. In the context of the social political climate of that time, publishing such a journal was in itself a highly political act. We challenged issues of inclusion by creating an independent political space. Our global outlook along with a focus on the needs and experiences of women within our local communities was a pioneering concept.

Suman Goyal, Co-Founder, Editorial Board and Writer.

(Note: name changes in 1994)

Title Date
Diva: A Quarterly Journal of South Asian Women – Vol. 1, Issue 1 – April 1988 Spring 1988
Diva: A Quarterly Journal of South Asian Women – Vol. 1, Issue 2 – July 1988 Summer 1988
Diva: A Quarterly Journal of South Asian Women – Vol. 1, Issue 3 – October/December 1988 Autumn 1988
Diva: A Quarterly Journal of South Asian Women – Vol. 1, Issue 4 – March/May 1989 Spring 1989
Diva: A Quarterly Journal of South Asian Women – Vol. 2, Issue 1 – June/August 1989 Summer 1989
Diva: A Quarterly Journal of South Asian Women – Vol. 2, Issue 2 – January 1990 Winter 1990
Diva: A Quarterly Journal of South Asian Women – Vol. 2, Issue 3 – July 1990 Summer 1990
Diva: A Quarterly Journal of South Asian Women – Vol. 3, Issue 1 – October 1991 Autumn 1991
Diva: A Quarterly Journal of South Asian Women – Vol. 3, Issue 2 – March 1992 Spring 1992
Diva: A Quarterly Journal of South Asian Women – Vol. 3, Issue 3 – September/December 1992 Autumn 1992
Diva: A Quarterly Journal of South Asian Women – Vol. 3, Issue 4 – January/March 1993 Winter 1993
Diva: A Quarterly Journal of South Asian Women – Vol. 4, Issue 1 – June/August 1993 Summer 1993
Diva: Art & Literary Journal of South Asian Women – Vol. 4, Issue 3 – Summer 1994 Summer 1994
Diva: Literary Journal of South Asian Women – Vol. 4, Issue 2 – Winter 1993/1994 Winter 1993

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