In the dingy corner of culture, lurk stories that we overlook. We put a blindfold on our eyes and walk right past those corners. We avoid these stories and the characters who live within them. This is precisely the feeling when we try to ignore a particular Khaleed Hosseini or a Rohinton Mistry novel. We do that because we know they make us feel uncomfortable. Because they remind us of some harsh obscure truths.

Berkana unfolds such real stories in bare-bones fashion with a razor-sharp focus on three facts:

  1. Discomfort will propel us to make a change. (in whatever way we can)

  2. Truth needs to be confronted even if we feel uncomfortable about it.

  3. Post the discomfort and confrontations, the tornado shall rest. It will wash away the conditioning and create a fertile space for authentic growth.

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I publish bimonthly stories from forgotten corners of culture. And those aren’t fiction. For more announcements and deeper reflection on life and its varied nuances.

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What is Berkana?

Berkana offers a critical intersection between history and socio-cultural anthropology. At Berkana, I prod into the conditioning of the collective social psyche through the lenses of scrutiny. I focus on peeling away the cultural inhibitions to reveal the truth that many will comfortably brush under the rug. The goal is to awaken dynamic changes in the social framework in the light of storytelling. Berkana gives you a chance to integrate obscure yet valuable ideologies and find meaning through connection with the old. If you care about marginalized inhabitants of our planet, then Berkana is the place for you. From the fringes of its unpopular existence, I bring many thought-provoking narratives of human conditions to the forefront of consciousness. I have many vices, but pretense is not one of them. I have baked Berkana in the same fire of authenticity, and it leads to the demise of cultural fallacy.

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For Better Understanding…

and accessibility, I categorized the extensive Berkana Archive into four segments. Check out the Berkana City Map to navigate.

Here are the main Berkana City Destinations 

  1. History Parlour: Linking People to Places by Tracing Cultural Tools of the Time

  2. Rumination Station: Profound Epiphanies on the Human Experiences of Love, Longing, and Loss

  3. Folklore Studio: Revelations Hidden within the Dark Crevices of Folklores Both Old and New

  4. Macabre Museum: Treading through the Tightrope of Discomfort to Initiate Difficult Conversations

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About Me

My name is Swarnali Mukherjee and I am a writer, creator, and designer but the label I associate with the most is consciousness researcher. If prose and activism had a love child - I would be it. I write culture-centric investigative essays. I write and speak about the zeitgeist - lives of women from different strata of class and cultures, underprivileged children, feminine sexuality and strength, criticism of wars and other crimes on humanity, economic and class disparity, and much more. I carefully observe obscure art forms, objects, and literature and try to map them back to the lives of people who created and used them to get by. I dabble in philosophy and psychology in multiple threads of passion projects.


Be a part of the Berkana community

Share your courage to do something unique with kindred spirits. With your community on your side - you are powerful. Organize a protest march, sign a petition or banter about your ideas in the comment section or community-driven AMAs.

Be my patron - tell me what to write next and have full access to my patron-exclusive discord channel. (which I will launch as soon as I turn on paid subscription).

If you want to help me grow, please share this newsletter with a few people you know. Thank you for being at Berkana.

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People

Swarnali Mukherjee
A chronicler of all things absurd and borderline magical