23 September Saturday

Samatha - Where Words Transformed To Action

A SureshUpdated: Friday Apr 8, 2022

Samatha, a womens publication collective, is a unique model of political education and activism in the cultural scenario of Kerala. This Thrissur based organisation works in book publication, women's artistic performances and many other social and cultural events.

In earlier times book publishing has been a completely male-dominated field around the world. It was at this point Samatha formed in Thrissur 1987. The organisation started its working not as a simple publication house but a cultural body also. It was very active till 1994. Performed street plays and musical skits on almost 2500 stages all over Kerala.

Released two revolutionary song cassettes. The first one was released by Devaky Warrier and the second by E M S. Samatha was part of the propaganda wing of 13th CPI-M party congress at Thiruvananthapuram in December 1988. They performed a musical choir for the concluding session of the party congress.

Samatha conducted a 10 day theatre Workshop for women for the first time in the history of Kerala in 1989 at Kolazhy, Thrissur. After a momentous and active contribution in cultural activities for 8 years Samatha was inactive for years. 15 years later, the organisation was re-formed as Samatha - A collective for Gender justice. A public Charitable Trust with 29 women members. Prof. Lalitha Lenin as chairperson and Prof. T A Ushakumari as the Managing Trustee. After reorganisation they made account of the women leaders who didn't get enough recognition in the past.   

Samatha had participated in Sharjah International Book Fair in 2018, the first women collective to do so. Dr. Aleida Guevara, the daughter of Che Guevara, arrived in Kannur, the revolutionary land of Kerala, at the invitation of Samatha on 1 Aug 2019. Dr. Aleida released 14 books published by Samatha in the presence of thousands of people at the Town Square, Kannur, 11 books among them are Latin American studies. The Cuban Solidarity Conference and the martyrs family meet were conducted on the same stage.

Every year Samatha honours eminent personalities among scientists, farmers and women with the awards like Jaiva Jagratha, Jaiva Keerthy, Jaiva Samrudhi and Jwala. They also provide financial support for backward and veteran women warriors.