printied violation press | Patriot - India

The Patriot | India | December 22, 2016  Page # 17


United Colors of Women



INDO-CANADIAN lensman Bhargavi Joshi’s series of mono- chromatic photographs ‘Printied’ depict the violations women face world over and it’s no surprise it went viral. Shot in Mumbai, the nine women were wrapped in med- ical gauze, which symbolises the dressing up of women’s wounds (whether emotional, physical or mental) that society is adamant on covering, instead of fighting the causes and eradicating violence. “Instead they are ignored and silenced. They are painted white to move the focus from their ethnici- ties and cultural backgrounds and highlight their gender, to show that this affects women worldwide. It is a global issue,” she adds.

Bhargavi Joshi grew up in a cre- ative family and was encouraged to ‘create’ from a young age with her father, who loved photography and passed on this gene to his daughter. “He was thrilled to support me when he heard, a friend had intro- duced me to it. Right from my first class, I couldn’t seem to get enough of it and decided to train profes- sionally in Canada. And that’s how ‘Printied violation’ came about which is now a revolution of sorts,” she says.

Bhargavi decided quite early on that she wanted to leave this world knowing she had contributed to society in a meaningful way. So she started to think about the issues that she cared about. “One evening I was flooded with these creative ideas — women’s issues, human rights, animal abuse, LGBTQ rights, child abuse, human trafficking, the environment and many more. I can’t wait to bring them to life and release them. I hope they inspire positive change and help various organisations in some way in fight- ing for these,” she adds.

She suggests spreading aware- ness through education and enforc- ing extremely stringent punish- ments for violators. There must be strict and permanent action against law protectors like the police and courts, who refuse to take com- plaints and pursue offenders. “Sensitivity training to police offi- cers and teaching them how to care for a victim of abuse when she comes for help is imperative, so that more women step forward and report these crimes. Most impor- tantly, and especially in developing nations, women must be finan- cially independent, so they are not

dependant on the men in their lives to provide for them and force them to live by their rules and on their mercy. So that if a situation of abuse arises, she can take action and get out of it, without worrying about food or shelter,” she says.

Each one of us has been affected by at least one or more of these vio- lations depicted in this series in some form and intensity. So Bhargavi chose woman from all walks of life and professions and they belong to different countries and cultures. “I wanted to photo- graph women that everyone around the world could relate to. These problems transcend all race, cul- ture, education and socio-econom- ic backgrounds. I didn’t face any problems as such, it only took a long time to put together a team, who genuinely cared for these causes and wanted to help make a difference,” she adds.

Bhargavi, who has travelled all over the world, does not believe that women in the West have great- er rights. “It depends on the imple- mentation of laws. There are many laws in India that protect women, but most women are unaware of these. Those, who are aware usu- ally have problems getting law enforcers to protect their rights. If a woman gets raped in the US, she can call 911 and help will arrive and correct procedure will be fol- lowed with medical tests done and cases filed. In India, women are scared to report cases because of victim blaming and shaming, police abuse and refusal to file FIRs as well as medical testing not done

with sensitivity,” she confirms. Her next project focuses the spotlight on the perpetrators and how time and again we let them get away. It covers domestic, child and also elderly abuse, but this time, the focus is the offenders not the victims. “I was surrounded by strong women all my life. All my father’s sisters, are people any young girl or woman could look up to. They also happened to be extremely talented artists and musicians. My father is an archi- tect, who also loves art, music and filmmaking. My parents under- stood what it meant to be an artist and its struggles, so I’ve had great support so far. I’ve been extremely lucky and I couldn’t do what I do without my dad’s support and

belief in me,” she says.
Bhargavi adds that photogra-

phers around the world are doing incredible work bringing the world’s attention to things that matter. We all have a moral respon- sibility, she adds, and we are trying to inspire more people to come together and fight for what is right. “Women around the world, don’t want to be told what is physically wrong with them (whether they are dark, have acne or are short). That has been done for decades. It is time, we realised that we don’t live in a world where we can Photoshop our lives and it’s time to focus on the true beauty and strength of women and those come in all shapes, sizes, colours and brains,”  she concludes.


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