December 17, 2013
Filmmaker and photographer Aishwarya Arumbakkam is exhibiting an essay of photographs titled Stalked: scars in time & space, that talks about the violation of physical and mental space caused to a victim by stalking. Arumbakkam’s personal body of work including the ones being showcased in this exhibition revolves around polarity and contrasts. The inspiration for this essay emerged while she was working on another series titled Items, that documents Bollywood’s “item girls”; and plays with the patriarchal and one-dimensional stereotypes of women that has been created and encouraged by Indian media. Items was exhibited at The Mirror of the Open Road exhibit at the Wilding festival in London in June 2013.
“Several films, starting from as early as 1950s, have glorified stalking as a completely justified rather univocal way to woo and win a woman over. Generations of Indian men (& women) are conditioned to believe that to woo a girl, one must stalk her, be persistent, force one’s attentions on her and even if she resists, expresses irritation, disgust and revulsion, they must continue because inevitably, like the heroines in popular cinema she will succumb…To understand and translate the feeling of being stalked is very complex- with layers of fear, guilt, trauma involved. The intangible is what attracted me to it” she says.
For the series, Arumbakkam has shot people who have experienced stalking in their lives. “They are people whom I knew or came to know as I worked on the series and their stories and experiences form a huge part of the narrative.” Through the exhibition, Arumbakkam hopes to address the trauma and the indelible remnants that stalking leaves behind. And at the exhibition, she expects to see people who are interested in challenging the notion of what is acceptable and what is not- from all walks of life- who can take her work further by starting conversations, dialogues and forming or breaking opinions.
17th to 22nd December 2013
Design: Kahani Designworks
Produced by Offroad Films
Here is a little glimpse into what awaits you at the exhibition:
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