Lives of pioneer ‘invisible’ women related through an exhibition
by IANS Tuesday, March 17th, 2015
New Delhi, March 17: India has many women whose contributions have made the country proud. But most of them remain “invisible” to mainstream audiences. Attempting to showcase their contribution in the changing Indian milieu, an upcoming exhibition in the national capital aims to recognise their hidden achievements.
American photographer Mick Minard has captured the lives of 15 women leaders across several verticals in photographs and a book that she has co-authored with US-based medical practitioner Shashi Gogate.
These photographs will be displayed at an exhibition titled “The Poetry of Purpose: A Portrait of Women Leaders of India” that will narrate the story of Indian women leaders who may be ‘invisible’ from public gaze but are the driving force behind positive social change across the country.
Curated by Alka Pande, the exhibition will run March 25-31 at the India Habitat Centre.
Both the exhibition and the book feature names like Anar Patel (Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel’s daughter) who is the co-founder of NGOs Gramshree and Manav Sadhna, former volleyball player Jagmati Sangwan, filmmaker Madhureeta Anand and social health activist
Razia among others.
According to Minard, their inspirational stories are a perfect example of confronting challenges and embracing optimism.
“We live in an era in which inequality, gender violence, and social injustice is on the rise. We believe that striving for a more enlightened humanity is more crucial than ever,” Minard told IANS in an email interview.
“Our aim in shining a light on these women and their stories is to demonstrate that despite such difficult realities, there is cause for optimism,” she added.
With this exhibition, Minard hopes they can highlight how a “more noble narrative can emerge from oppressive circumstances and unspeakable suffering”.
Coming from diverse backgrounds – privileged and highly educated or disadvantaged and lacking literacy — these women have have led to positive social change by working on issues untouched by many.
“We hope through this endeavour people might become more perceptive readers of humanity’s potential, and that we might begin by cultivating an ability to comprehend others’ stories through a prism of love and compassion, rather than solely through data and logic,” said Minard.
“In so doing, we might come to recognise that humanity’s potential is much greater than current social realities would have us believe. And we might appreciate, too, the extent to which women’s leadership represents a new frontier of possibility that will always be with us,” she added.
According to Pande, the exhibition, and the accompanying book, look at Indian women through a completely different and unique lens.
“This will go a long way in providing visibility to women leaders who are helming ground-breaking work and helping to shape India’s future,” she said.