T.A.N.J. #1

This publication is part of the inquiry The Against Nature Journal, initiated in 2014 as commission by the NGO Legal Agenda and arts organisation Ashkal Alwan in Beirut.

As of summer 2020, the “restoration of natural order” is back on the agenda of many alt-right movements across the world, and “unnatural” sexual orientations and behaviors are still condemned to imprisonment, corporal punishment, and even the death penalty in over seventy countries.

The Against Nature Journal is a biannual arts and human rights magazine exploring “crime against nature” laws and their legacies, in print, in person, and online. Authors and readers from law, activism, social sciences, and the arts are brought together to foster dialogue on sexual and reproductive rights and rethink nature anew.

This inaugural issue outlines the intersections between legislation, human rights activism, and spirituality. We celebrate the magical legacy of the late writer BINYAVANGA WAINAINA with his first piece of fiction, accompanied by an essay on his lifework by AMATESIRO DORE. The issue also includes legal scholar VIVEK DIVAN’s commentary on a seminal verdict in the history of “crime against nature” laws from India, essays on non-normative approaches to spirituality and religion by MARTTI NISSINEN and LINN MARIE TONSTAD, poetry by ABU NUWAS and CHEKWUBE DANLADI, an inspiring text on the moral authority of “nature” by science historian LORRAINE DASTON, images from the colonial period in Vietnam by artist DANH VO, and columns on recent events in Barbados, Brazil and Abya Yala, India, Kenya, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, and Poland covered by activists, writers, organizers DONNYA PIGGOT, VIVIANE VERGUEIRO, PAWAN DHALL, KARI MUGO, DAYNA ASH, NIZA, NAOUFAL BOUZID and ELIEL JONES.

Danh Vo's black and white photographic series 'Good Life', 2007 adorns the pages of TANJ #1. Images courtesy the artist.

500 copies are distributed in selected bookshops worldwide. 1,500 free copies are distributed internationally to individuals and organizations who are concerned with the laws of “crime against nature” and operate in the fields of law, activism, social sciences, and the arts.

Editorial piece 'Thinking Through Religion' by Aimar Arriola.

The Columns feature regular contributions by activists, writers, and scholars from places where against nature laws still prevail and where there are continual regressions of reproductive, sexual orientation, and gender identity rights.

The Against Nature Journal (T.A.N.J.) is a biannual arts and human rights magazine published by Council from summer 2020.

Issue #1 Summer 2020

printed in 2000 copies
234 x 146 mm


Aimar Arriola, Grégory Castéra

Contributing Editor

Giulia Tognon

Copy Editor

Laura Preston


Sriwhana Spong


Julie Peeters

Cover Art

Stepan Lipatov


Abi Tariq


Yundi Wang

Editorial Committee

Aimar Arriola, Thomas Boutoux, Grégory Castéra, Arvind Narrain, Sandra Terdjman, Giulia Tognon

Advisory Committee

Nikita Dhawan, Taru Elfving, Karim Nammour, Piergiorgio Pepe, Graeme Reid, Nizar Saghieh





Help maintain the publishing, education, and community activities of The Against Nature Journal by joining our membership program (€45) available on our website.

For more information on how to support the project please write to Grégory: gregory(at)theagainstnaturejournal.com

Future issues will intertwine six themes, each becoming the major focus of one issue: Religion, Migration, Medicine, Love, Death, Nature.

If you would like to contribute or send us a letter, please write to the editors: editors(at)theagainstnaturejournal.com