Reflection on sexual violence: Jarring tabloid imagery

- July 9, 2023
| By : Rohan Chauhan |

The paintings deal with the issue of whether the visual simulation of gendered violence is the only way to communicate its seriousness

The exhibition is curated by Laxmi Murthy and Pawas Manandhar

In a unique exhibition, the India International Centre’s Art Gallery will talk about the media depiction of sexual violence against women and children.

The exhibition will discuss the exhaustive nature of the stereotyped images of cowering and terrified women with their hair askew.

Besides, domineering men gloating over their prey, and the graphic and two-dimensional representation of actual acts of violence that makes us collectively ponder: What could be more meaningful ways of depicting trauma?

The Hri Institute for South Asian Research and Exchange (a unit of the South Asia Trust) has embarked on this collaborative adventure to explore the nuances of imagery around sexual violence against women in South Asia.

The paintings deal with the issue of whether the visual simulation of gendered violence is the only way to communicate its seriousness.

How realistic must representation be to convey its urgency? And is powerlessness the main motif of sexual violence?

Can initiatives to pursue dignity and justice emerge only from images that jolt, disgust, and disturbing?

The initiative brought together filmmakers, researchers, activists, graphic novelists,
cartoonists and artists to evolve new thinking around the visual representation of gender-based violence in cinema, the media, and popular culture.

The exhibition, curated by Laxmi Murthy and Pawas Manandhar, will share glimpses of the journey into exploring the structural roots of sexual violence against women in four countries:
South Asia — Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh — in the hope of generating new explorations and thoughts.

It will critically examine, through an intersectional lens, prevailing imagery and discourse around gender inequity and challenge the stereotypical depiction of sexual violence on the female and queer body.

“Through this series of curated images, we attempt to move towards a more empowering visual language that could intervene in the discourse around gender-based violence and gender justice. We hope to collaboratively catalyse fresh ways of representing violence and justice”, said curator Laxmi Murthy.

Participating artists: Subha Wijesiriwardena and Shermal Wijewardene (Face of a Campaign/Sri Lanka); Nikita Tripathi (Digital Reverb/Nepal); Niharika Popli and Pakhi Sen (The City that Spoke to Me/India); Muktasree Chakma (As They See Us/Bangladesh); Prasuna Dongol (Before you were my mother/Nepal); Pushpa Rawat (Sita Online/India); Rawyan Shayema (Hair/Bangladesh); Barkha Mukhiya (Flames of a continuous field/Nepal); Parismita Singh (A Manual of Hate: How to Tell the Story of Our Times/India); and Changing the Narrative

When: 11.00 am to 7.00 pm; July 8, 2023 – July 17, 2023

Where: Indian International Centre, 40, Max Mueller Marg, Lodhi Gardens, Lodhi Estate, New Delhi