Marmara on Abuse and Harrasment

Grassroots Engagement, Interviews, Photography, Videography, Creative Writing

Studio Project
March 2018

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,

ill fates

Incessant Suffering dwells here.

Yet mighty laughter resonates. 

Among these brightly painted walls.

Sheer strength

A thriving friendship

Mighty courage

And an absolute togetherness 

Brew in these humble abodes.

All hail to the fierce souls

Reverberating with immense energy

Breathing positivity.

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.