The Bystander Anthology

Bystander n.‘a person who is present at an event or incident but does not take part.’ 

The word bystander has existed for hundreds of years, but we’ve never really questioned the idea of being a bystander until just recently.

In our discussions today around race, caste, displacement, climate change, consent and sexual violence, the question of taking action is immediate, and needs to be addressed with depth and sensitivity. The topic of the bystander is viscerally important now, but who engages, who witnesses? Whose voice is heard and whose is ignored?…

…In the subcontinent, the word ‘bystander’ also contains many tensions and connotations: in language, behaviour, culture. As a group of South Asian creators from all across the world, our perspective on this is unique, as each of us has faced marginalisation based on a range of intersecting identities – be it gender, sexuality, caste, class, language, race, region, religion, colour – and each of us has experienced different aspects of being a bystander at some point in time.

The Bystander Anthology