Sister is the first South-Asian feminist library that is powered by female excellence. It is an evolving and generative artwork that engages in in-depth reflection on the visual and reading culture of our times.

Our primary ambition is to bring together readers to celebrate women, explore the literary contribution, showcase the artistic quality and celebrate the contributions of women in the creative world as well as to foster interests and understanding of the accomplishments of women writers and artists. When doing this we also hope to change the way the world perceives women and spaces where knowledge is shared and produced.

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When we started

The idea to start a library came to her while reading; reading women in particular. Thami, the founder of Sister Library, started reading women exclusively as a practice seven years ago. “I started thinking of building a library of the books I was collecting,” she says. “The feeling grew stronger when I started to share these books with my friends. And, I started thinking about libraries, how I experience them, what do these spaces stand for, and conceptualised this art piece that contests these ideologies and presents a new way of experiencing a library.”

About the Library

Sister Library is a permanent – albeit small – space in the Bandra neighbourhood of Mumbai – it houses 600 works of literature by women, including zines, graphic novels, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, mostly from Thami’s own sprawling collection. Sister Library began as a travelling interactive artwork, which visited cities all over India, from Delhi to Pune, Goa to Bengaluru, and finally the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, which is where I stumbled across its pink shelves and inspiring mission. While there, I perused works by Audre Lorde, Virginia Woolf, Maya Angelou, Arundhati Roy and Gail Omvedt, alongside handmade zines by local women and girls. Thami has read women exclusively for the past five years, she tells Dazed: “Reading women has been fundamental to my practice, as it has filled me with strength – I wanted to share this with everyone.”