Our work is attentive and responsive to sexual violence across class and caste contexts. Working closely with communities in rural India has widened and complicated our understanding of sexual violence and its binds with caste, class, labour and religion. Working closely with survivors of rape who have pursued various modes of redressal: legal, at the community level and personal, has enabled us to understand the interplay between objective and subjective beliefs of justice and reconciliation. We are attentive to constructions of masculinity that manifest as violence, and in deepening our work on restorative justice, that can create spaces of conversation, healing and empathy between victim and perpetrator. We are committed to highlighting experiences of violence that are ignored by mainstream media and public discourse, specifically within minority communities in India.
Some of our work is as follows:
The Dignity March: In collaboration with Jan Sahas, a civil society organization based in Madhya Pradesh, we have been conducting research on sexual violence, documenting cases and developing visual material for advocacy and public awareness. In December 2018, we undertook a two month journey, the Dignity March, with survivors of rape and their families. Crossing 24 states and 200 districts, the march intended to challenge the social silence and sanction of rape, that frequently leads to survivor shaming and lack of judicial and social accountability. In narrating their experiences and struggles across diverse platforms, survivors challenged the image of the silent and shameful rape victim. We documented the march which resulted in a video and a report. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zsCDzjR7v0&t=10s)
Taking forward learnings from the march, we are at present working on a performance that will capture the experiences we were witness to on the yatra.
Mujhe Kuch Kehna Hai
participatory media campaign toward the prevention of sexual violence
MKKH is a campaign that ran across 3 districts in Madhya Pradesh with adolescent girls and survivors of sexual violence, in collaboration with Jan Sahas. Through audio-visual workshops, we trained girls/women to narrate their own experiences of violence and discrimination. The idea was to not respond only when something goes wrong and appears in the form of a case, but to try and question societal norms and behaviours that create cultures of violence. The campaign culminated with the production of audio capsules which were scripted by adolescent girls and tackled issues of menstruation, sexual harassment and caste discrimination.
Trainings on gender, sexuality and violence
A set of four modules that use theatre and story-telling to explore gender and sexuality as a journey across life. The modules emphasise a turn to the personal, and move outward, to look at various sites/phases that shape our identification with gender and sexuality. This includes childhood, adolescence work-space, public space and home. The modules are attentive to constructions of femininity and masculinity and the manifestation and experience of sexual violence.
Research on the intersection between between caste and sex work: In collaboration with Jan Sahas, we are working on a 13 state research study that seeks to understand the connections between caste and sex work, particularly through the experience of minor girls.