Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault
Reduced to the deed,
Reminded of the sexual imbalance.
Ruthlessly shown the politics of power,
Its intoxication and abuse.
No longer finding it surprising, But rather - anticipatory.
Capturing the reality of trauma is often a difficult task because the suffering exists on the inside and very rarely can be expressed in a heartfelt manner. Survivors of sexual assault (SA) struggle with this affliction, unable to leave the scene of crime. While the body of the survivor holds onto the physical memories of the incident it is often an inner battle that consumes their being.
Opening discourse on the behavioural impacts that shape a survivor's relationship with their own body, dress and surroundings, a new photo series aims to chronicle the emotional journey caused by the trauma of sexual violence. Recent Fashion Media and Industries graduate Vrinda Maheshwari looks to fuse fashion and storytelling with social and political statements to create change.
The photoseries also reiterates the insipid cultures of victim shaming and blaming, asking audiences to destroy such narratives and extend empathy and understanding towards survivors. Vrinda explains how the project came from a very personal standpoint, and inadvertently became a call for closure to the incident as well as an attempt to forgive herself and break away from the toxic culture of shame surrounding SA.
The protagonist stares at the viewer, unable to assert power over her own body. Wrapped in a cocoon-like costume, showcasing her struggle to reclaim the physical self, the series reflects the removal of agency while also juxtaposing symbols surrounding female deities who are revered for their purity, while a survivor of SA is scrutinised in the same light. The colour red dominates the visual story, communicating the intensity of the trauma and inner suffering.
Such projects also help further the conversations around forming better resources for SA survivors and highlights the fact that as a society we can all do better to create an environment where individuals are able to heal without judgement or scrutiny.
Art Direction: @vrinda.2000
Cinematography and editing: @flocorchia
Styling assistant: @buks_2000
Garments: pratyusha_26 in collaboration with @vrinda.2000
Hair and Make up: @buks_2000
Hair and Make up assistant: @minii.b
Model: @3anasi of @miscmanagement
Set Design: @vrinda.2000
Set Design assistant: @chanchnchn, @danessaur, @leonard.wtl
Extras: @tanyazoha, @awkward.hummus, @ishiiikothu, @buks_2000, @minii.b
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