Reclaim the streets

Indian female artists are taking back the country’s most dangerous roads

Photo via Blank Noise/Facebook

A dark road in Yelahanka, a suburb of the Indian city Bangalore, is known to locals as “Rapist Lane.” But in spite of the street’s sinister reputation as an enclave of sexual violence, there is not a single police record that indicates a rape has occurred there. Underreporting of rape—both by victims and by the country’s media—is a serious concern; some studies suggest that the frequency of sexual brutality in India is five times more than statistics indicate. So to spread the message about the prevalence of sexual violence, a local artist named Jasmeen Patheja turned to the most natural, intuitive method of transmitting information: conversation. The Huffington Post reports that Patheja and other members her art collective Blank Noise have set up tables stocked with samosas and chai in the notorious “Rapist Lane,” which they have renamed “The Safest Lane.” There, the artists invite passersby to join them and discuss their experiences with sexual harassment, in the hope that these candid conversations will inspire empathy between genders and castes. The project is titled “Talk More,” and it is now being replicated in the suburbs of other major cities.

Read the full story at The Huffington Post.

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