Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Really Wrong Turn

A girl being grabbed by lascivious men on a bus — sounds eerily familiar, doesn’t it? But this girl is not Nirbhaya (as she was christened by the Indian media), the 23-year-old student who was brutally gang-raped and murdered in Delhi in December 2012.

This particular girl is in a photoshoot called ‘The Wrong Turn’, and she’s wearing some high-fashion clothes and accessories, in a stylised setting (which happens to be a bus), while men with near-perfect bodies paw at her.

Even if you haven’t seen the photos from this fashion shoot by photographer Raj Shetye, the image that’s conjured up in your mind would undoubtedly sicken you as you invariably make the connection between the gang-rape incident and this depravity that’s being referred to as “art” by Shetye.

The photographer claims that he came up with the concept long before the Delhi incident, but happened to shoot it recently. Here is another man who refuses to consider the impropriety of his creative idea less than two years after the entire world woke up to the brutality that young woman had endured at the hands of her perpetrators, and takes refuge under “art” and “creativity”.

Much like those companies with deep pockets but clearly shallow souls who allow their marketing experts to use women to sell deos for men, underwear for men, motorbikes and such, Shetye probably just wanted publicity and found the perfect method to get it.

As women we are fed up of such ‘creative’ expressions and sick of men (or women) with such ‘artistic’ inclinations that endorse and perpetuate gender biases, that treat women as commodities and that glamorise acts of violence.

Shetye deserves all of our collective condemnation and a complete boycott of all his works, past, present and future. Let artists be aware of lines of propriety, decency and humanity before resorting to such expressions of creativity.

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