Thursday, January 15, 2009

Fear and Gender

Fear, the word has too many meanings in my mind; it’s a feeling of extreme discomfort. It is something that’s nurtured over a period of time and evolves from experiences, memories and what we have witnessed or heard. There are fears that we are aware of and some which we are not aware of, but subconsciously we do react to them and over a period of time and begin to embed in to our thinking patterns. Experiences that trigger fear are anchored to us through various senses. We all experience and live with fears, but what interests me the patterns that build a fear, and how people’s approach towards fear.

Just the question of what I fear, leaves me with a perplexed mind. Debates, thoughts and outlook on fear have left me with too many questions, and I see using photography as a medium to picture my answers in some sense.

Off Limit’s- Vinayak Das brif has intrigued me particularly, because it would enter spaces like the paan shop, petty shops, bars, chai shops etc where women just don’t go alone or go at all. These spaces are very uninviting for women. It would be great to work towards this as I would be entering spaces which I have feared myself, because of the awkward attention I have always received. These spaces seem like sensitive points, because the most amount of eve teasing happen around these ‘addas’ corners or the eve teaser’s gangs are found in abundance in such spaces. This could pass of as presumptions that I have arrived at after observing over a period of time.

I would like to understand how I can capture the absence of women in such spaces. What kind of women can actually walk into such spaces? Are there women from different sections of the society in such spots? Does it specify class or standard? If there are women in such spaces, who are they, where do they belong in the social band? Is social status a factor in such spaces?

The behaviour of people in such spaces would be an answer to why women can’t or are reluctant to walk in such gender specific environments. I could capture moments of certain behavior, which would reason why women are not comfortable there.

I have seen Vinayak Das’s work and have related some of his work, thoughts and elements of his work to mine. The colours, compositions and subject he chooses for his pictures inspire me to take my camera and start shooting. I have personally indulged in photography over the last few years and have always wanted to work in to a certain theme or line of enquiry. This seems to fit my interests and passion, hence I would chose to work into this particular proposal.

Priyanka Daga

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