Tackling sexual violence through art

On anniversary of gang-rape and murder of Delhi student, we take a look at artists who are trying to help the cause.

The following multimedia shows how artists – through painting, theatre and music – have expressed their anger and shock in the wake of the gang-rape and murder of Delhi student last year.

The artist has used strong images to portray the various challenges facing women.

New Delhi– The December 16 Delhi rape case rankled her. But it was the Mumbai gang-rape of a photojournalist that was the tipping point. Theatre artist Mallika Taneja responded by creating “Thoda Dhyan Se (Be Careful)”.

“What happened on December 16, changed our lives, the brutality shook our souls,” Taneja says. Like many, she took to the streets to protest. Long after the events of December what remained was a sense of fear.

“People started giving advice, ‘be careful’, in hushed tones.”

But when the Mumbai case happened, Taneja wanted to ask who do you blame? What precautions to take?

“The advice that women should dress carefully not to invite rape rings hollow. I knew my time to talk came.”

Taneja spoke in the way, she knows best – through art. Her 10-minute, solo act has been performed in various parts of Delhi. Through the act of layering up, her monologue questions – who is responsible for sexual harassment?

Like Taneja, many artists in India have reacted to recent spate of sexual violence in India, particularly December 16.

Professionals, amateurs and students have used media such as theatre, paintings, and music to express their shock and anger.

Kuljeet Singh of Atelier Theatre directed the play the Sakina Rehearsing Manto in the times of gangrape’ which improvised noted Urdu writer Sadat Hasan Manto’s short story ‘Khol do’.

The students of Indraprastha College for Women based in Delhi were deeply affected by the events of December 16.

“It was aimed at sensitising a group of aspiring actors,” he says.

Hari Krishna, created sand art videos to illustrate the events of December 16.

“Art can connect and create awareness. It makes people pause and reflect,” he says.

Maya Krishna Rao, dancer and director, created “Walk” a solo performance, as a response to December 16, which has been performed in various parts of the world. Shilo Shiv Suleman, a visual artist, came out with a poster collective – “Fearless”.

On the anniversary of December 16, the Citizen Artist Group displayed a 16-metre painting in memory of Jyoti Singh Pandey and other plays in New Delhi.

South African playwright Yael Farber produced Nirbhaya, based on the Delhi gang-rape, which debuted at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Source: Al Jazeera