I live in Maiduguri in northeast Nigeria and lead three (interlinked) lives.
1. I am a journalist and writer who writes on climate change, conflict, feminism, foreign policy, migration, Nigeria and the wider Lake Chad region, race and sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. I have written for The Guardian, New Humanist, New Internationalist, This is Africa and Ventures Africa and appeared on Sky News and the BBC World Service. She Called Me Woman: Nigeria’s Queer Women Speak, a book of narratives I co-edited with Azeenarh Mohammed and Rafeeat Aliyu, is published by Cassava Republic Press in Nigeria, the UK and the USA. You can order it here. I am currently working on a book on the violent conflict in the Lake Chad Basin.
2. I do research and programmes and, over the past 15 years, have worked in China, Guinea, Liberia, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, the United Kingdom and the United States. Right now, I focus on civilian protection, conflict mitigation, climate security, human rights (particularly those of women and girls) and building peace. You can read about and download my research and publications here.
3. I am an activist involved in feminist, anti-racist, anti-fundamentalist and queer movements. My activism is directed towards linked liberation and aims to incorporate (*black) feminist, anti racist, anti-fundamentalist, post colonial, queer and socialist analyses. I recognise that we live in a world of interlocking hierarchies and oppressions and believe that it must be part of our feminist mission to dismantle all of these. As a result, I seek to actively work to combat ableism, ageism, class privilege, heteronormativity, racism, sexism, discrimination against people with non normative sexual orientations and gender identities and all other forms of injustice and prejudice. I am on the editorial collective of Feminist Dissent, an academic journal focusing on gender and fundamentalism.
In addition to all that, I love diving, surfing and anything else in the water, hiking and long distance bus and train journeys and am still catching up with Game of Thrones (yes, I know) right now. I write here in a personal capacity.
Contact: @chitranagarajan or chitra.rao.nagarajan[@]gmail.com
* A note on language: I use black in the political sense of the term. It denotes strength and solidarity in the shared past and continuing experiences of imperialism, slavery, resource extraction, inequality and power imbalance of all those descended (through one or both parents) from Africa, Asia (i.e. the Middle East to China, including the Pacific nations), Latin America, the original inhabitants of Australasia, North America and the islands of the Atlantic and Indian Ocean. It does so while acknowledging and celebrating our difference and diversity and challenging intolerance and inequity within and between these groups.