Raad Rahman, a Bangladeshi freelance journalist, novelist and human rights activist, will stay in Ithaca for a month as a writer-in-residence with Ithaca City of Asylum, an organization that provides sanctuary for repressed writers, according to the Cornell Chronicle, which is run by The University. Rahman told The Sun that Ithaca caught her interest because of its vibrant environment as a college town and said that she “likes being surrounded by students and intellectuals for the next generation.”
During her time in town, in addition to writing, Rahman will address the South Asia program at Cornell in a seminar titled, “Sex, Blasphemy and Terrorism: Bangladesh’s Systematic Repression of its LGBTQ Communities” on April 23. She will also give speeches at the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival’s literary showcase and hold public readings of her work. Rahman, who graduated from Bard College with a degree in anthropology and literature in 2006, has been active in human rights advocacy and journalism. She recalled receiving a number of death threats when writing about the first and only LGBT magazine Roopbaan in Bangladesh, where her fellow journalist and founder of the magazine, Xulhaz Mannan, was murdered for defending gay rights.