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Royal Existentials: A Webcomic Series Tells Stories of Historical (and Contemporary) Angst in India

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Alexa Altmann

Royal Existentials is a weekly webcomic series created by Aarthi Parthasarathy, co-founder of Falana Dimka Films.
Parthasarathy uses Mughal miniature art to address existential questions of contemporary societal angst, such as for example censorship, privilege and gender.

The small Bangalore-based studio also produces a great variety of other media such as a film series about the feminist street-art collective ‚Fearless‚, which tackles conversations on gender and public space and several short films dealing with environmental issues.

For an interview with the artist read more at ‚Royal Rant‚, The Hindu.

22. September 2015 | Veröffentlicht von Alexa Altmann | Kein Kommentar »
Veröffentlicht unter Allgemein

Animated Videos Use Humour to Aid Mumbai Police Helpline for Women

Feministindia.com, August 23, 2015

Mumbai-police-helpline-womenEeksaurus, a Mumbai based animation studio, have launched three awesome short videos to spread awareness about Mumbai Police Helpline 103 to report violence against women

By Team FI
A woman walking down an alley gets accosted by man. Unperturbed she uses her secret weapon, her jacket sprouts porcupine like thorns whereupon she proceeds to hug her assailant. A message splashes across the scene advertising the product as Porcupine Jacket which alas will only be in the market twenty years hence. So till then, Mumbai women are reminded to call Mumbai Police helpline number, created especially to be used in cases of violence against women – 103.

This animated video was the brainchild of Suresh Eriyat, the Director of Eeksaurus – a Mumbai based company that makes advertising film using animation. So far four videos have been made out of which 3 which were launched online in April 2015 have been endorsed by the Mumbai Police- being ‘Porcupine Jacket’, “Bagzilla’ and “Inter-galactic Pest Control”.

Nilima Eriyat, Executive producer of Studio Eeksaurus, spoke to FeministsIndia on the subject

How was the idea conceived?
The idea came in the wake so many gruesome rape cases in the country and out of an intention to spread awareness about the Police helpline which not many women are aware of. As a part of our services to the community, Eeksaurus sets aside time and budget every year for such projects where we feel that contributing with what we are good at- films and communication is better than monetary grants where we don’t know where the money ends up going.

What kind of research did you do to arrive at the concept?
When we came to know about the Police helpline number 103, and the Mumbai police told us they can reach any crime scene within few minutes of the victim making a call to them, we asked a lot of people if they were aware of such a helpline number and to our surprise, while everyone knew 100 was the police number, no one knew of 103 as the women’s helpline aided by women beat officers. This was startling and we felt a huge need for the citizens to have useful information. That was the starting point for Suresh to come up with this thought of making a series of films in a comic, tongue in the cheek approach so that women felt empowered by the information of having a helpline number they could rely on.

Why did you think of using humour to send the message?
We have seen that almost all communication that is created around women’s safety issues are using live action, showing real people and made very morbid, which actually sets in more fear than empowers women to deal with the issue. Therefore, Suresh felt that using the medium of animation, and making it humorous will make the communication memorable- where the whole point is for women to remember the police helpline number and be assured that help is a few minutes away. In our interaction with the Mumbai police, we have learnt that the police can land up anywhere in Mumbai within a few minutes of the victim making a call to them. So when we have such an efficient system and the police who vouch for it, we felt that this helpline number must be known to as many people, especially women.

What was the reaction from the police to the concept which is different from normal awareness videos?
To our pleasant surprise, the Mumbai Police applauded the films and Suresh’s effort and initiative as a citizen for doing his bit for the society and gave us permission to endorse the film using the Mumbai Police logo and highlighting the helpline number. We are proud and assured to know that our Police force is a bunch of open minded, progressive people who are constantly improvising and ideating on ways to make our city a safe place.

Are these videos only limited to online media or is it being planned to be shown on television or cinema halls?
There is talk of them going on cinema screens and we have approached the metros and buses to play them in a loop for maximum reach to the masses of the helpline number. However, there is a fee we are being asked to pay to play the films on Public transport which we are not willing to do, considering we have pro-actively created them for the benefit of the society and we think that such content should be played on as many screens across the city as it in the interest of the public.

Have you received any concrete reactions to the ad as in quantitive numbers of views or qualitative comments?
The Mumbai Police, commissioner Rakesh Maria and Jt. commissioners Dhananjay Kamlakar and Atulchandra Kulkarni (crime) felicitated Suresh in a special ceremony in Mumbai in April 2015, presided by the chief minister of Maharastra, Devendara Fadnavis, which in itself was acknowledgment of good content where the police further chose to endorse it. We have the films on YouTube and our FB page- Eeksaurus, where we have an outreach but not in the numbers we would like for the awareness of the helpline number. A lot of press coverage has been made, but the real success lies in as many people watching the films and remembering the helpline number 103.

Read more: Animated videos use humour to aid Mumbai Police helpline for women
Read more: This Artist Created 3 Futuristic Products That Help Women Fend Off Creeps, In Order To Popularise 103 Women’s Helpline

25. August 2015 | Veröffentlicht von Alexa Altmann | Kein Kommentar »
Veröffentlicht unter News

„Obwohl sie eine Frau ist“: Modis Äußerung entfacht neue Diskussion über Geschlechterstereotype in Indien

Nadja-Christina Schneider

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„Mahila hone ke baujud bhi“ – im Englischen mit „despite being a woman“ übersetzt – dieser selbstentlarvende Einschub in einer Rede, die der indische Premierminister Narendra Modi (BJP) Anfang Juni in Dhaka im Rahmen seines Staatsbesuchs in Bangladesch gehalten hat, sorgt seither für angeregte Diskussionen in der indischen Medienöffentlichkeit. Eigentlich wollte Modi darin das entschlossene Vorgehen von Premierministerin Sheikh Hasina im sog. Kampf gegen den Terror anerkennend hervorheben. Dies misslang ihm jedoch gründlich, denn eine unverändert patriarchale Haltung und unzeitgemäße Geschlechterstereotype sind nun die beiden ersten Assoziationen, die mit seinem denkwürdigen Auftritt in Dhaka in Verbindung gebracht werden. Unter dem Hashtag #despitebeingawoman postet seither eine stetig wachsende Zahl an Twitter-Userinnen und -usern ihre Kommentare und zahllosen Beispiele herausragender Leistungen und Errungenschaften von Frauen in Indien, aber auch satirische Inhalte und Karikaturen:

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Bei der Vorstellung seines Kabinetts im vergangenen Jahr wurde der neu gewählte Premierminister teilweise noch überschwänglich von den Medien dafür gelobt, dass sich der Frauenanteil darin auf fast fünfzehn Prozent erhöht hatte und ein Viertel der Ministerposten mit Frauen besetzt worden waren. Die hindunationalistische indische Volkspartei (BJP) hatte sich generell aus wahlstrategischen Gründen in den vergangenen Jahren eine Rhetorik der Geschlechtergerechtigkeit zu eigen gemacht und vor allem im Wahlkampf 2014 eingesetzt. Insbesondere die säkular begründete indische Frauenbewegung beobachtet dies mit großem Unbehagen, denn zahlreiche Äußerungen und Handlungen von BJP-Mitgliedern sowie von anderen hindunationalistischen Organisationen im Umfeld der Partei sind nach wie vor kaum mit einem egalitären, liberalen Feminismus in Einklang zu bringen. Folglich bot Modi vielen, die an seinem überzeugten Engagement für eine gerechtere Geschlechterordnung in Indien stets gezweifelt haben, mit seiner Äußerung geradezu eine Steilvorlage, um seine patriarchale Haltung zu kritisieren und ihn mit Spott zu bedenken.

Twitter ist jedoch auch ein Medium, das Premierminister Modi selbst äußerst erfolgreich für seine strategische Kommunikation mit fast 13 Millionen Followern nutzt und so ließ die Gegen-Hashtag-Kampagne #ModiEmpowersWomen ebenfalls nicht lange auf sich warten. Viele englischsprachige Medien weltweit scheinen dennoch ausschließlich über den Hashtag #despitebeingawoman zu berichten, der vielfach als „social media storm“ bezeichnet wird, den Modi durch seine Äußerung entfacht habe.

Diese Skandalisierung und die wachsende Zahl an Berichten von Medien über das, was sich in den sozialen Medien tut, sagen auf der einen Seite viel aus über die rapide gewandelten Medienumgebungen und kommunikativen Dynamiken in der indischen Gesellschaft. Auf der anderen Seite lässt die starke Medienresonanz auf Modis Äußerung aber auch die Zentralität von genderbezogenen Themen in dieser gewandelten indischen Medienlandschaft erahnen. Es ist zwar keinesfalls neu ist, dass die Situation von Frauen, Diskussionen über Frauenrechte und Gleichberechtigung oder genderbezogene Diskriminierung ein sehr großes Interesse der indischen Medien und generell in öffentlichen Debatten allgemein erfahren, doch die Medienberichterstattung und daran anknüpfende Anschlusskommunikation hat sich zweifellos im Zuge der fortdauernden Debatte über sexuelle Gewalt seit 2012 stark verdichtet.

 

19. Juni 2015 | Veröffentlicht von Nadja-Christina Schneider | Kein Kommentar »
Veröffentlicht unter Allgemein
Verschlagwortet mit , , ,

Drawing the Line: Indian Women Fight Back

Alexa Altmann


Image credit: Panel from ‘But What is Basic Space?’ by Kaveri Gopalakrishnan

Drawing the Line: Indian Women Fight Back” is a collection of visual stories by 14 young women produced during a workshop organized by the Indian feminist publisher Zubaan and the Goethe Institut and held by Indian graphic artist Priya Kuriyan and Larissa Bertonasco and Ludmilla Bartscht, German co-editors of Spring Magazine. As a response to the public outrage and debates following the 2012 Delhi gang-rape case the artists visualize narratives of resistance, desire, anxieties and anger in regard to gendered norms and expectations which range from the voyeurism of rape reportages and the wish to loiter untroubled in public parks to female foeticide and stigmatisation regarding skin colour.

Lauded for its rich and diverse artistic expressions “Drawing the Line” includes stories which call forth solace and the celebration of female solidarity as well as chuckles of approval by the ”liberating portraiture of women’s so-called quotidian wants: Going nude, not dressing to impress, bra-less at work, scratch in public anywhere, spreading their legs when sitting”.


Image credit: Panels from ‘That’s not Fair’ by Harini Kannan & ‘Basic Space’ by Kaveri Gopalakrishnan

The anthology is, as workshop organizer Bartscht concludes, “… not about turning everything on its head or about fighting back using the same awful weapons” but instead about being “brave, strong, full of love and goodwill.
As such represents “Drawing the Line” equally the assertion of young women artists in the male dominated sphere of the comic book genre and in the ongoing discourse on gendered safety and propriety in which the artists seek “to reclaim the narrative on their bodies, minds and lives.

 

8. Juni 2015 | Veröffentlicht von Alexa Altmann | Kein Kommentar »
Veröffentlicht unter News
Verschlagwortet mit , , , ,

Manipur Masala – A Regional Film Industry Looks Beyond Its Borders

THE CARAVAN
By SUHIT KELKAR | 1 October 2014

LATE THIS AUGUST, the Film Forum of Manipur made a bold announcement. The state’s apex industry guild and regulatory office, which ensures that all films abide by censorship rules imposed by local separatist groups, slapped six of the regional industry’s actors with a six-month ban. The punishment was meted out for failure to support protests for an “Inner Line Permit” system in Manipur. The ILP system, which requires outsiders to get special permits to visit a state, is in force in Nagaland, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, where tribal populations see it as a protective membrane over local ways of life.

The actors, each of whom has about ten to twenty films in the pipeline, argued that they had never received a notice to attend the protests. The Film Forum’s Executive Council refused to accept the excuse. In early September, Laimayum Surjakanta Sharma, the Forum’s chairman, told me over the phone that the ban would hold, although actors were free to act in music videos. “We will see how much they support our campaigns in the near term,” Sharma said, hinting at the possibility of a commuted sentence. “We are giving them a lesson.”
– See more at: Manipur Masala

9. November 2014 | Veröffentlicht von Nadja-Christina Schneider | Kein Kommentar »
Veröffentlicht unter Allgemein
Verschlagwortet mit , ,

Chennai Beautiful

Shifting Urban Landscapes and the Politics of Spectacle

von Roos Gerritsen

 

Den kompletten Essay finden Sie unter:

http://www.tasveergharindia.net/cmsdesk/essay/115/index.html 

 

 

In seinem Essay untersucht Gerritsen die Entwicklungen in der Stadt Chennai (im Bundesstaat Tamil Nadu). Hier geht die lokale Administration seit 2009 gegen die auswuchernde politische und ökonomische Plakatwerbung vor.  Anstatt dieser Plakate und Fassadenbemalungen kann man nun an den Wänden und Häuser entlang der Hauptstraßen Kunstwerke mit Bezug auf die tamilische Kultur und Natur bestaunen. Heute gibt es an über 3.000 Stellen ein Verbot öffentlicher Werbung und immer mehr lokale Motive anstatt der nervigen politischen und ökonomischen Plakate zieren viele andere Wände in Chennai.

 

„As postcard images the new murals have contributed to the reinforcement of the iconic, standardized status of history, tradition, and the beauty of the State, but is not their repetition again creating indifference? I think we can be almost sure that after the newness of the mural form has worn off, the depicted scenes will return from their short-lived presence in hyperreality into the sphere of clichéd, everyday manifestations that are largely unnoticed. For the moment, the city authorities steadily continue to embellish even more public walls.“

 


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5. Juni 2012 | Veröffentlicht von Arnold Schuster | Kein Kommentar »
Veröffentlicht unter Essays