Comic Book Hero Combats Rape Awareness In India Through Hindu Goddess Parvati

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Two and a half years ago, a woman was gang-raped on a moving bus in New Delhi, India. Three days later, the woman died from her injuries. New York based documentary filmaker Ram Devineni was in India during this event and the protests that followed. The incident inspired Devineni to create comic book hero Priya Shakti, a gang rape survivor who seeks to stop violence against women. After interviewing men on the street, Devineni realized that sexual violence was a cultural issue. He also took the time interview rape survivors and learned that they were discouraged to seek justice by family members and threatened by rapists. After recording their stories, Devineni thought about the comics he read as a child and the religious stories that the comics carried via Hindu Gods. He took the familiar cultural medium and challenged its narrative by adding focusing on a social issue and using today's modern technology.

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Via Priya Shakti/Priyashakti.com

Devineni teamed up with illustrator Dan Goldman to create the beautiful images for Priya's Shakti. Shakti translates to divine feminine energy or female power in Sanskrit, making this book a super estrogen charged body of work. Through the help of Hindu gods, Priya fights to end gender inequality in India and educate the country on rape culture. Priya is representative of a generic Indian woman and her aspirations. "She is like every boy or girl who wants to live his or her dreams. But those dreams are squashed after her rape," says Mr Devineni.

The augmented reality (technology that superimposes images, writing, or sound over a smart phone) experience portion of the comic book can be accessed on Blippar, an interactive art app. "The comic book is the first of its kind to use augmented reality and image recognition, using various media to tell the story of fighting back against sexual assault", says Mashable.

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Via Priya Shakti/Priyashakti.com

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Via Mashable/Heather Martino

The exhibit is currently being held at New York’s City Lore Gallery until July 30th. Ana from #TeamFearlessLeon recently went to see the exhibit and completely love it. I can't wait to go and see it for myself. ARTivism all the way.

For more information on Priya Shakti and to read the comic book for free visit Priyashakti.com.  

BLOGGhislaine Leon