Photo by Prashansa Gurung
THEME: GENDER AND PUBLIC SPACE
Deadline: 31st January 2021
What is the ‘visual’?
We have used the term ‘visual’ to include media such as photography, photo collages, painted photographs, photo montages, edited audiovisual projects (3-4 minutes) and photo/video archives such as family albums*.
[*Archival photographs and videos can also be sourced from groups such as the Northeast India AV Archive, the Confluence Collective, Sikkim Picture Library etc. Please get in touch with the curators for this.]
Through your submissions, you can also choose to bring out and explore the following sub themes under the larger umbrella of gender and public space:
From Zamthingla Ruivah’s creation of the Luingamla Kashan to the protest at Kangla Fort, how do we revisit women-led protests and movements now that the public space where marginalised bodies could once be in alliance has now become more restrictive?
What are lesser known protests/movements/agitations that our mothers/grandmothers have been a part of, and how do we situate them in the context of COVID-19 and the loss of space it has brought about?
Despite this loss of space, how have women continued to build solidarity in different parts of the Northeast (for e.g the sit-in at Arunachal Pradesh against the Hathras rape) through protest?
Digital Spaces: With limited access to physical spaces, digital platforms (Tiktok, Instagram, etc.) seem to serve as a communal space and outlet for personal and creative expressions. But how safe, accessible and ‘public’ is the digital space? How do marginalizations in offline spaces replica themselves online?
Street art: The enforced erasure of Akhil Gogoi’s mural in Assam in December 2020 leads us to reflect not only on how artist-activists are continuing to intervene in public spaces during COVID-19, but also on the privatisation of public spaces by the state. How are artists and citizens from marginalised communities using these spaces now? How do we expose misconceptions around such spaces being ‘public’? How can we reimagine these spaces as being more democratic?
Community Sport Centers: With the visibility of women/girls in community sports centres being low to begin with, how has the pandemic and the subsequent loss of these complexes further limited and restricted how women and other marginalised identities interact with these spaces?
Media: Media, in all its forms, is an important actor in providing a platform for the portrayal of diverse stories and backgrounds. Do the media and its spaces serve as allies or antagonists to marginalised identities? How can we use artistic license to reframe these media narratives to be more inclusive and representative?
Agriculture: Pandemic or no pandemic, in most rural areas, people are compelled to abide by their daily routine, as it is these activities (farming, fishing diary, etc.) that serve as their basic source of livelihood.
Religious places: How has the pandemic changed the dimensions of places of worship, the access to and ownership of which is already extremely contested?
Who can submit?
Applications are open to women, queer, trans and nonbinary individuals from Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Tripura. Those from the regions of Darjeeling, Kalimpong, and Kurseong are also welcome to apply.
Applicants must be 18 years and above.
All submissions should contain the following information:
Social media handles (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook):
All submissions should consist of a short description of the work. (300 words)
All submissions should consist of a short bio of the applicant. Please state your preferred pronouns in the bio. (100-200 words)
[If you need help with drafting the description and bio please feel free to reach out to us via the given contact details. You can also reach out to the curators of this exhibition via email if you’d like to seek help regarding technical support, thematic support or both. If you have an idea in mind prior to submission that you’d like to discuss further, the curators will provide you with feedback.]
Submissions and enquiries must be sent to
[Please mention the subject line as ‘Submissions for THL’ if you are making a submission, or ‘Enquiry regarding THL’ if you have any queries.]
Guidelines for submissions:
Final images should be low-resolution, not more than 1MB in size.
Images should be in JPEG file format.
Images should not have watermarks.
Phone photography is allowed.
Up to 15 images can be submitted.
File formats can be AVI, MPEG, MPG, MP4, MOV, XVID, MXF, FLV.
File size should not exceed 1 GB.
Recommended resolution is 780p-1080p.
3-4 minutes is the maximum per video*.
[*THL is not responsible for any hands-on technical support. The curators will only offer guidance and recommendations, but for the final submission, participants must send edited videos.]
Selected participants will receive a small honorarium and letter of participation.
As per the Attribution NonCommercial 4.0 International Creative Commons License which rests with Zubaan Publishers, the copyright of the work displayed in this exhibition will be shared with Zubaan Publishers Pvt. Ltd (ZPPL) and the participants.
The files displayed in this exhibition can thus be used for non-commercial purposes with due credits to Zubaan Publishers and Through Her Lens.
Selected photos can be used by participants with due acknowledgement to ZPPL and Through Her Lens.
About Zubaan Publishers Pvt Ltd
Zubaan Publishers Pvt Ltd is an independent publishing house based in New Delhi and has been a participant and chronicler of the women’s movement in India and South Asia. It was set up in 2003 as an imprint of India’s first feminist publishing house, Kali for Women, and continues to publish books on, for, by and about women in South Asia. For more information, please visit www.zubaanbooks.com.
About Fragrance of Peace
Fragrance of Peace is a collaborative project between the Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF) and Zubaan Publishers Pvt. Ltd. This project started with the objective to build networks and nurture solidarity through dialogue, literary exchange and peace-building within the Northeast region. It also aims to build a platform for artists, writers, journalists and researchers from the region to discuss, ideate and work on their regional specificities, and support these conversations by participating in literary festivals, book fairs and cultural events in different locations across India. For more information, please visit www.zubaanprojects.org/projects/fragrance-of-peace/
Mridu Rai, Curator
Mridu Rai is an independent writer, curator and researcher based out of Sikkim, India. She is the curator of Through Her Lens, a visual research programme in collaboration with Zubaan Publishers Pvt Ltd and the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, which aims to expand women’s photographic practices in the eight Northeast Indian states and Darjeeling Hills. Mridu is an alumna of the University of the Arts London and has worked at various publications including India Today and ARTEM. She is a member of the Confluence Collective, a collaboration of photographers and research scholars from Sikkim and Darjeeling Hills.
Anushya Pradhan, Assistant Curator
Anushya Pradhan is the assistant curator of Through Her Lens. She has recently worked as art programmes coordinator at The People’s Studio, ARTEM where she curated creative events such as film screenings, printmaking and zine workshops. At present, she is also involved in developing art, reading and education programmes.
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