Uncaged Library Arts & Information lifts up stories that sustain the hearts and minds of social change workers in the Bay Area and beyond. In particular, we produce collaborative music, theater, film, and data projects that highlight the struggles and victories of LGBTQ people, people living with HIV, and people of color in our ongoing fights for dignity, existence, and liberation.
Uncaged Library was founded in 2016 by Anand Jay Kalra, who saw a disconnect between activist organizations and the communities they serve. As a professionally trained librarian with experience conducting qualitative and quantitative social research, Anand has a passion for connecting people with the information they need to be healthy, happy, and successful. Disappointed by seeing amazing social change agents fail to reach wide audiences with reports and blog posts, Anand began working with organizations to make their stories more accessible through video and song.
Uncaged Librarian Productions is pleased to support your work in a variety of ways. Below you’ll find samples of work in each of our core areas.
Since 2015, I have produced and mentored the creation of more than 50 short films. Click the image above to see a recent one, which was commissioned for Visual AIDS’ Day Without Art film screenings in 2018. You can also see a selection of my films on vimeo.
From 2016-2018, I directed and co-wrote a musical based on the life of afrofuturist luminary Octavia E. Butler. The musical, Octavia of Earth, was a collaboration among a group of artists and featured film and dance in addition to lyrics and music.
Musical styles vary from traditional choral to electronic, jazz, pop, ballads, and musical theater. For Octavia of Earth, the biographical musical about Octavia E. Butler, I co-wrote 2 songs, wrote 4 on my own, and collaborated with another artist on 3 additional ones. We recorded a studio soundtrack album in winter 2018-2019 and launched fall 2019 at www.uncagedlibrarianmusic.com. You can also listen to some of my tracks on SoundCloud.
Teaching, Training, & Speaking
As a librarian by training, I have a keen interest in breaking down complex ideas into understandable language. I am an experienced and enthusiastic speaker, trainer, and teacher on a wide range of topics. The image above links to a presentation I gave recently about information in social justice organizations, and here is one that provides a comprehensive introduction to gender justice, with emphasis on transgender people in the HIV movement.
Community Based Research
While much of my video work is a result of community interviews, sometimes you just need some solid quantitative research to support your advocacy. In 2015 and 2016, while I worked at Transgender Law Center, I co-designed a survey instrument based on a community focus group, supervised data collection, analyzed the data, and wrote up the results in 2 of the 3 reports (“Some Kind of Strength” and “See Us as People“). For these reports, I did the data analysis in R.
Facilitation & Conflict Mediation
I went through my first conflict mediation training in 1994 and have grown my facilitation and mediation skills through thousands of hours of practice since then. You can read more about my approach here.
Anand JK Kalra
Artistic & Managing Director