Marmara on Abuse and Harrasment
Grassroots Engagement, Interviews, Photography, Videography, Creative Writing
Under the effervescent guidance from Vimochana, social service organisation that works to protect women from daily atrocities, based in Bangalore. In a group of two we pursued this eye-opening project. A ‘Marmara’ on abuse and harassment was conducted in Ward No: 141, Kasturibanagar of South Bangalore. Marmara means trembling/murmurs of the trees. Through conversations and dialogues, these women shared their struggles, grievances and also their hopes and dreams. This project made me realise that with a potent amalgamation of debating, provoking and positioning oneself as a designer who challenges the status quo on the critical issues of our times, using creative writing and reflective practices, making with multiple media, my art/concepts/ designs should offer a space for advocacy and activism.
I got the opportunity to introduce a ‘Dream Slate Exercise,’ with the familiar chalk-and-slate as tools to encourage dialogue among the members of an urban slum community. This initiative began in Bangalore (the capital of Karnataka, a state in South India), and it henceforth, came to be a placeholder for the people’s voice and aspirations. The parents in the community were more than happy to help and support their children’s education despite contemporary adversities.
There are roars of impending justice
Screams, tears, screeches.
Sore eyes seek for warm sun
Ears long for a sweet lullaby
In the prime of pain
The daughter sings a song.
Her innocent voice trembles
Frail bones can bear the stress no more
A mother is numb.
Tormented by her child’s untimely demise
Mumbling prayers, her soul aches for justice.
Absconding Husbands, abandoned wives,
Incessant Suffering dwells here.
Yet mighty laughter resonates.
Among these brightly painted walls.
A thriving friendship
And an absolute togetherness
Brew in these humble abodes.
All hail to the fierce souls
Reverberating with immense energy
nurturing young ones around.
Clad in yellow, pink and all colors bright
They uplift. They shout
They are independent.
Brimming with stupendous energy.
With the art of listening
They deliver their best.
Where grievances reside in abundance,
Hearts and bangles jingle unanimously.
They stand undefeated.