© 2023 by MALAVIKA KANNAN.

malavikawrites@gmail.com

words

Malavika writes op-eds, profiles, and personal and critical essays about identity, race, gender, Gen-Z, politics, and culture. Currently, she's a staff writer for The Stanford Daily. 

TEEN VOGUE

How Toni Morrison Transformed Me as a South Asian Writer

 

"There is no widely accepted Indian-American literary canon, so by existing as a writer, I am by default adding to it. Toni Morrison taught me the sanctity of this, of remembering and recording, of the political revolution inherent in defining my own identity."

HUFF POST

Perfectionism Is A Myth, Unless You’re A Woman of Color

 

"Women of color are the ultimate time travelers. We exist in so many places at once, present so many facades, knock on so many doors. But we also live a life where it’s sometimes impossible to exist as ourselves: trope-y, mediocre, imperfect."

Refinery29

 

I'm the Daughter of Indian Immigrants, and Kamala Harris Changed the Game For All of Us

"The audacity of equality — the audacity of Sen. Harris to dedicate herself to bettering a country that historically never dedicated itself to her — is her greatest revolution. Her candidacy illustrated to first-generation Americans that we have both the right and the duty to demand improvement of the society we live in."

 Wash Post

I'm Seventeen. Here's Why I'm Participating in the Women's March.

 "I am refusing to live in the shadow of politeness. I’m reflecting on the ways that I used to mute myself, apologize and cave, while promising to do better. I am allowing myself to swell with anger, raise my voice and march through the nation’s capital until my feet hurt."

teen vogue

 

What Colorism Feels Like As An Indian-American Woman

"I want to change the world because of my identity, not in spite of it. My melanin launches merciless war against a world that seeks to beat it down. There’s something revolutionary about loving ourselves the way we are. It’s a hard battle, but it’s a battle worth fighting."

teen vogue

For Pulse Shooting Survivor Stephanie Kersten, Dance Is a Source of Healing

"As Orlando — and the nation — awoke to the tragedy, forming lines around the block to donate blood and honor victims, Stephanie channeled her anguish the way she knew best: by getting her students through another day. A year later, she coached the dance team through a special performance honoring the 49 lives taken in the shooting."

HUFF POST

How Having A Name That Nobody Can Pronounce Taught Me Who I Really Am

"I realized that I was also learning how to reclaim the name that had never truly fit. Just like I could hard-wire my brain to read in two languages, I could train myself to flourish in two countries. I might be a product of my ancestors, but I am also the speaker of my own name and shaper of my own future ― down to the last letter."

HARPER'S BAZAAR

I'm Seventeen Years Old, And I'm Afraid For My Life

"I understood that there’s no point in preparing for death—all we can do is make the world as safe as possible while we’re still living. All we can do is go high, even as others go low. We can choose to march forward, demonstrate bravery, and honor those who have died by making change. And we will make change."

NYLON

When Will Women Get A Break from Hollywood's Serial Killer Obsession?

"Pop culture often serves as a mirror to our political climate, and there's something natural, even digestible, about seeing white men exact devastating violence against women on TV—because that same story is playing out constantly in our society at large. Men are predators before and behind the camera: in fiction and nonfiction, on and off the screen."

HUFf POST

I Led My High School's Walkout to Demand Gun Reform. Here's What I Learned.

"It’s crucial to always stand up for what you believe in, and when you have a passion, you run ― or in my case, walk ― with it. True activism requires thought and deliberation, not just anger. And at the end of the day, together we are stronger than any bullet."

teen vogue

We're Teen Journalists, and We're Ending Gun Violence

"We’ve been raised in a terrifying world of lockdown drills, death tolls, and moments of silence and fear. Mass shootings aren’t new to us. But #MarchForOurLives is. Because for the first time, we’re not the victims of history — we’re its makers. And right now, journalism is our greatest weapon."

 Young Arts

All The Yellow Suns (Novel Excerpt, Performed Live at 2019 YoungArts Miami)

"After all, Columbia Heights is a place that lives best in art--in tangled, senseless sketches that manage to transform it into something resembling the American Dream. I think it’s the pinpricks of light from the subway tracks that first inspired me to paint. I wanted to capture all of that enigma, tuck it into a canvas, and save it for the future."