Where do feminism and fashion join hands? A panel of experts, a spoken word performance, and an art exhibit explore the question
Nearly a hundred years after the publication of writer Munshi Premchand’s works, fashion blogger Pallavi Datta has reimagined the strong female protagonists of his novels. The result is an art exhibition taking place this weekend. Datta thought about what the characters would look like in present times and conceived a photo shoot featuring professional models and also musician Geetu Hinduja.
“I revisited Premchand’s writing recently and realised that we’re still where we were,” Datta says. Considered to be one of the most celebrated Hindi writers, Premchand’s novels often deal with social issues, such as prostitution and poverty.
Datta’s exhibit (featuring blown-up photos from the shoot, and accompanying text) will be showcased as part of Godrej India Culture Lab’s event, Feminism and Fashion — Navigating a Knotty Terrain. A panel discussion (panelists include designer Anita Dongre, craft revivalist Laila Tyabji, stand-up comedian Mallika Dua and writer Sharanya Manivannan; the moderator is Nisha Susan, founder, The Ladies Finger portal) will discuss how fashion and feminism intersect.
Parmesh Shahani, head of Godrej India Culture Lab, says, “I don’t see any conflict between the two concepts. I’m super-fashionable and, at the same time, feminist in orientation. We want to explore both the spaces and encourage conversation around it.”
In keeping with the fashion aspect of the event, Datta’s models sport garments that are handwoven, and jewellery that is handmade. The evening will also see a spoken word performance by writer Sharanya Manivannan, whose poem is about self expression through fashion. The event is in association with the Lakme Fashion Week (LFW). “We wanted to make LFW, which is glamourous, an intellectual hub as well,” says Shahani.
Feminism and Fashion – Navigating a Knotty Terrain will take place on August 19
When: Exhibit on display at 4pm, panel discussion at 5pm
Where: Godrej India Culture Lab, Godrej One, Pirojshanagar, Vikhroli (E) (entry from the Eastern Express Highway)