Working Together – Learning Together:

The street play gives a clear idea of various aspects of violence. We would like it to be a part of all functions organised by the police. These young people have explained it very well- Ms. Anuradha, Inspector Delhi Police

I learnt about various aspects of gender through the exhibition- Mr. Gangasharan, School of Open Learning

This exhibition has provided our students with a new lens to understand gender and violence - Dr. Devender Kakar, Associate Professor, School of Open Learning

The ‘School of Life,’ an intervention shaped by survivors of violence and young people from college and settlements and facilitated since 2015 by the Centre for Advocacy and Research (CFAR) as part of the Wajood initiative supported by Population Services International has grown from strength to strength. 

The young people realized very early on that violence is intrinsic and often linked with the different kinds of socialization we experience. Therefore it has to be confronted at many levels in order to understand and develop new value paradigms on gender, learn how to communicate with peers and engage with the many institutions that safeguard our rights as individuals and citizens. They not only learned but also created.

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, March 8, 2017, The School of Open Learning, University of Delhi organised a felicitation ceremony for 1500 Women Police Personnel who had received training on Self Defence. These police officers will be designated to lead various department across the city. This ceremony was the lead event of the International Women’s Day Celebrations in the School of Open Learning. The event was presided over by Ms. Varsha Sharma, DCP, SPUWAC.

CFAR was invited to set up the Public Art Exhibition in the School premises to enable the students from the School of Open Learning to understand the year-long effort made by learners from campus and settlements to understand and ideate on their understanding of gender based violence.

The exhibition Hamare Sapno KI Udaan-Youth Pradarshini presented on a single platform photographs, story board, graphic stories, newpapers, drawings, writings and performance that trace the challenges and dreams of young people who are faced with gender-based violence, both in public and private spaces. The young people through these creative outputs shared their thoughts, their notions of right and wrong, their ideas of rights and privileges, based on their lived realities.

The Public Art comprises of the following products-

  • Five local newspapers with names as varied as - Badalta Kalyanpuri, Hamari Awaz, Aao Naya Samaj Banayein, Hamari Pehchaan and Soch Badlo, Samaj Badlo developed by learners of five settlements Kalyanpuri, Saboli Khadda, Nangal Raya, Janta Mazdoor Colony and Sunlight Colony and Miranda House College. (June 2016)
  • A photo exhibition Bachon ki Nazar se Duniya Dekho which focused on issues like Mehnat, Bachpan, Khushi, Bhartiya Sanskriti and Women’s Empowerment all through the lens depicting their understanding of beauty and asthetics, peace and togetherness and empowerment and decision making. (August 2016)
  • A storyboard Ek Nai Shuruat depicting various ways of negotiations from police complaint, confronting, talking to parents to making friends as a means to deal with violence faced in public sphere. (September 2016)
  • A streetplay Mera School on conditions of schools and right to education for young people.(September 2016)
  • Four graphic stories titled Bhedbhav; It is Not My Destiny; Dishoom and Seher focused on discrimination, transgender, female wrestler and marriage and sex determination. (October 2016)
  • A bulletin Ïndia 2036 in which people are still waiting for ‘Good Times’ to come.
  • Four Video spots titled Soch (Think), Sex Offence, Stop and Astitva (Selfhood) focused on zero tolerance to violence, media’s responsibility, equality and identity. (October 2016)
  • Thirty seven posters which redefine concepts of gender, patriarchy, media, violence, education, health, rights. (March 2017)
  • Eight collages titled Gender and Patriarchy-Responses; Media-Friend or Foe; Masculinities-Does it Only Affect Men and Boys;  Rights for Third Gender; Education for the Underprivileged;  Health Care for Vulnerable Women; Violence against Women-Ways of Negotiations and Gender Equality. (March 2017)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Key Takeaways

Over the past six months, since October 25, 2016 the Public Art show has travelled to seven academic institutions Jamia Milia University, Bharti College, Shivaji College, Miranda House College, Janki Devi Memorial College and School of Open Learning where many other young people, mentors and stakeholders have viewed it and engaged with it. 

This has strengthened understanding on gender, gender-based violence, patriarchy, role of masculinities and related concepts and inspired  others to think on the issue, engage with it, analyse it which is essential to shape concerted responses on violence against women.

These diverse visuals mediums of communication have also enhanced local participation and created discussion and exchange between young people and stakeholders (including academics, police personnel, media ) on the need to seek social accountability and commitment to zero tolerance to violence against women, girls and boys. 

Among those who created and viewed this exhibition are many survivors who are witnessing and experience domestic violence in their lives The journey of these survivors is a road map for us to understand how to recognize the early signs of violence, what could have been done differently, who could have been reached out for support, who could have helped avert the violence.

Therefore this public art seeks to initiate a process which enables the young people to find a space for exploration and finding strategic solutions which are survivor centric so that the responses to violence can be shaped and guided by their experiences so that a structural change can be effected.