A Personal Request

Since we launched Savage Minds in 2005 the only time there were ads on this site was the short time last year between when we moved to WordPress.com for hosting and when we paid to turn them off. We apologize for that. The fact is that most of us use ad-blocking software so we didn’t notice the ads until they were pointed out to us and then we promptly got rid of them. We don’t intend to put ads here, and — even though we all put in a lot of work (and money) behind the scenes to keep the site going — we aren’t asking for your support…

OK, enough with the “we.” Although this is a group site and we make all major decisions (including posting this request) together, this is very personal for me. For the past three months I’ve been working non-stop behind the scenes to move to a new server, restore the archives, and redesign the site. If you paid a professional to do this kind of work it would cost at least $2,000, and maybe as much as four times that. I did it because I care about this site. If you also value this site and the work that goes into it, I’d like to ask you to support an organization that is very important to me: Budhan Theatre.

Budhan Theatre were the subjects of our 2011 ethnographic film, Please Don’t Beat Me, Sir! which documents how they have used street theater to transform their community. Before the film was even finished my wife and co-director Shashwati Talukdar and I, together with our producer Henry Schwarz, founded the 501(c)3 non-profit Vimukta to help support the work of Budhan Theatre. I personally have an anthropologists skepticism towards charity organizations, which is why 100% of the money donated to Vimukta (minus what is taken by PayPal) goes directly to Budhan Theatre, a grassroots movement that has made a real difference, not only in their own community but in other DNT (Denotified and Nomadic Tribal) communities throughout India.

There are thousands of people who read this site regularly. If each of our regular readers gave just $5 to Vimukta we could easily raise $2,000 to support their work running a Children’s Theatre Program:

Declaring that they are “born actors” not “born criminals” Budhan Theatre has been working since 1998 to raise awareness about the many injustices suffered by DNTs. The Children’s Theatre Program not only serves to train the next generation of Budhan Theatre actors, but also gives youth from the Chhara community an important sense of purpose and self-confidence. We are now raising money to ensure the long-term viability of this program, making sure that the kids have regular supervision and professional training.

If you appreciate the work I’ve done on this site, please consider making a one-time donation, or sign up for a yearly subscription.

Thank you.