Hong Kong
Spinifex Press
Women Publishing in
Asia & the Pacific

Bandana PattanaikBandana Pattanaik

Hi, I am Bandana. I am doing my Masters in Women's Studies at the university of Deakin at the moment. I am doing two units this semester; Feminist Ethics and Research Methodology B. I am enjoying my readings for these two units and soon I will start interviewing some women for my project.

I am new in Melbourne. I got here from Hyderabad, India on 20 March,1996. As I was driving from the airport to the student residence where I was to stay all I saw on the road were cars, cars and more cars. The houses were beautiful and the traffic was moving in such an orderly way!! I am in a developed country, I told myself.

The weather was depressing though! As days became weeks and then months I learnt to take the quicksilver weather in my stride. Used as I was to looking after myself I adapted to the new demands of living fairly quickly. Now I even have some good friends here. I miss my little flat in Hyderabad and all my friends.I also miss the heat and dust of India and the maddening traffic. It gives us readymade topics to grumble about.When you open the tap and there is water and turn on the switch and there is light what do you have to worry about except the weather? By the way, talk about the weather and you will have the most taciturn Melbournian warming up to you. If that does not work talk about the pets.On the whole I am enjoying my stay here.

What are the things I like doing? I enjoy meeting people, reading books, watching movies,eating different kinds of food and day dreaming. I am glad I have been able to do all these things in Melbourne. I have met some wonderful people here. All of them women, I must add. Anyway, the number of interesting women in this world far outnumbers those of men. I have been trying to educate myself a little in Australian literature too. Specially, feminist writing in Australia.

My interest in Feminism in general and women's writing in particular has brought me to Spinifex Press. I met Renate Klein and Susan Hawthorne in a conference on the politics of radical feminism in Melbourne. That conference made me aware of some new areas of concern involving feminists at this moment in this part of the globe. I was deeply upset to know about the pimping that is going on in cyberspace for example. Most of the specific issues discussed on that day were different from what one would talk about in a similar meeting in India. But we speak the same language and we share the same political agenda. In fact there is an urgent need today for feminists of the world to keep in touch with each other. The urgency arises because of the information explosion on the superhighway. It is important for all of us whether we are in the north or in the south to fight the new patriarchy emerging through technology. And of course we would do it using technology. In fact, Spinifex has already decided to take the much needed first step in this direction. I consider myself priviledged to be part of this electronic project which aims to network with women from Asia and Australia.

Before I close this I must thank Libby Fullard, the computer wizard at Spinifex. When we started the project I didn't know a thing about computers. Incidentally, that didn't have much to do with third world underdevelopment. Every street in Hyderabad, the city where I lived, had 'computer centres'. Every one wanted to teach me computer skills. I thought maybe from a cricket-crazy nation we were on our way to become a computer-crazy country. I was blissfully happy in my ignorance. I was happy to read books and meet people. But then I hadn't used the Internet. Nor had I met Libby and learnt the magic of HTML: the language of dots and slashes. Thank you, Libby. And many thanks to all of you who have reached the end of this page.

Bandana Pattanaik
Spinifex Press catalogue

You can read Bandana Pattanaik's article, The Third Space: Women and the Internet in the Developing World
in CyberFeminism.

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