Breaking boundaries with Yamuna Forzani

“I think being nice is one of the most radical things you can do.”


Standing for colour, collaboration, co-existence and compassion, Yamuna Forzani describes her textile masterpieces as political, positive anarchy. As one of Glamcult’s favourite new talents, she masters the art of creating tantalizing textiles in all colours of the rainbow—and they’re bound to put a smile on your face.

How would you describe your work in one short sentence?


Would you call your work political?

Definitely. It’s positive anarchy.

Image by Tommy Smits

Image by Tommy Smits

What do borders mean to you—do they limit you in any way?

Borders are defined as geographic boundaries, but in a broader sense borders mean boundaries. In terms of my work, I try to extend my borders as far as possible by collaborating with lots of different people who share the same values. I work a lot with Joeri Woudstra—we recently teamed up with the international Kiki House of Angels (a Kiki house from the Rotterdam ballroom scene) and created a fashion show voguing performance. A physical manifestation of acceptance, equality and freedom of sexuality.

How much do you think you are affected by Border Politics (and anything that comes under it) in day-to-day life? 

I don’t think it really affects me in my day-to-day life right now, but that doesn’t mean it’s not something that is important and relevant. It’s great to see lots of protests happening….

Image by Tommy Smits

Image by Tommy Smits

Does your cultural identity have an impact on your work—if so, how?

I spent a lot of my life living in a hippie community in India and I think that has a huge impact on my values. Also, India in general is a very intense, inspiring place that is full of energy, colours and life. This impacts my work, perhaps not in the aesthetics but in spirit.

How do you approach the difference between cultural appreciation and cultural appropriation?  

Cultural appropriation demonstrates the imbalance of power that still remains between cultures that have been colonized and the ex-colonizers; this in itself is a real issue.  I feel like cultural appreciation is a great thing and I think the main difference between the two is understanding and respect.


What do you stand for? 

Colour, collaboration, coexistence and compassion. I think being nice is one of the most radical things you can do.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future?

I hope that there will be less division; right now it feels like everyone is so divided, you are either left or right, you are this way or you are that way. People should have more empathy and try to understand where people are coming from with their opinions and views—mostly their views stem from fear. I hope the future will bring a greater acceptance of one another whether it be their gender identity, sexuality, religion or background.


See Yamuna’s feature in our big new issue!

Photography by Tommy Smits


Words by Lottie Hodson


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