We are proud to share that Ankur Paliwal’s article “Why minorities are abandoning India’s trailblazing queer forums,” published in Rest of World earlier this year, has won the South Asian Journalists Association’s award for the best story in the Arts & Culture category.

The article explores how many of Facebook’s popular forums and groups in India, which had long provided a platform for the country’s marginalized communities to find solidarity and support, have inherited the same divisions that have divided Indian society more generally in recent years. As a result, many of them, including those from the LGBTQIA+ community, are leaving those groups and creating and joining separate online spaces that better reflect their lives and perspectives.

The article was published in Rest of World in January 2022. Author Ankur Paliwal is an independent journalist who writes about science, inequity, and his LGBTQIA+ community from South Asia, and East and West Africa. He currently lives in India, where he is building Queerbeat, a collaborative journalism project focused on covering LGBTQIA+ people. This was his first article written for Rest of World.

The SAJA Awards recognize excellence in journalism about South Asia or the South Asian diaspora, as well as outstanding work produced by journalists of South Asian backgrounds. Other winners at SAJA this year include The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bloomberg, Wired, VICE News, and many more industry-leading journalism outlets.

See all the SAJA awards winners and finalists here.