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July 30, 2013

India Project – Progress and Updates



Nupur Mathur

New Delhi July 30th 2013

In the last post I had put down three possible directions we could possibly go in. Since then we’ve zeroed in what we will be doing here, if you scroll down you can read our project note. In all honesty the process of working out what we need to do has been a challenging one and we find ourselves wishing for 8 more weeks rather than the four we have left. That being said the next four weeks promise to be action packed.

Tattoo parlors like this are recent phenomenas

Tattoo parlors like this are recent phenomenas

Tattoo parlor in Pallika Bazaar

Observing emerging cultures


Bathsheba Okwenje & Nupur Mathur

In collaboration with Pattie Gonsalves, IDEA | Supported by the RISD Maharam STEAM fellowship

Project Description:

The purpose of our project is to stimulate and sustain dialogue on issues relating to gender disparities that lead to problematic ideas about sexuality.

The project will draw from and represent real life accounts of instances in which men and women have been confronted with gender-specific assumptions in behavior and attitude in the context of sexuality. These experiences will include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Ideas, expectations and behaviours related to masculinity.
  • Ideas, expectations and behaviours related to femininity.
  • Attitudes and assumptions surrounding the idea of service as an action of femininity.
  • Attitudes and actions that contribute to the suppression of female sexual desires and the resulting behaviours.
  • Assumptions, behaviours that are established as a result of a separation of the sexes and how this impacts the quality of relationships.
  • Attitudes and judgements based on the way women / men represent themselves through clothing and / or adornment.
  • Assumptions and actions that allow the public face of Delhi to be largely male.

Our aim is to illustrate how our individual actions and attitudes, especially those that live in the everyday, contribute to and perpetuate a problematic system of assumptions in the context of sexuality.


Through a series of interviews, we will collect experiences from a diverse group of men and women within the urban middle / upper class in Delhi. The demographic will include young unmarried men and women, young married men and women, middle-aged married men and women, and senior citizens.


Personal intimate experiences in the form of anonymous, audio narratives will be layered with video footage that illustrates the day-to-day activities or actions in Delhi that contribute to assumptions around gender and sexuality.

Each video will be approximately 30 seconds to 1 min long.

For example:

Video: Inside a general store/chemist shop an over should shot shows a woman buying a packet of sanitary napkins that is put inside a black plastic bag and handed over to her. Other customers buy other products that are given in regular transparent plastic bags.

Audio: A man speaks about when he first heard of menstruation. He recounts a childhood memory from his school days when all the boys were asked to leave the class while the girls were being explained something in private.

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