26.11.14

Sleep :













We're in the midst of an interim semester with students of Srishti School of Art Design and Technology. New Action Heroes include Diya Pinto, Akash, Manpreet,  Ayush, Swati Khaitan, Rashi, Radhika and Rajalakshmi.

Location: Cubbon Park
Assignment  : Take a nap

Diya Pinto : I have slept out in the open before, and am actually pretty comfortable sleeping out in the open, but as a woman in India, I would never dream about taking a nap in a public park. It is sad, but my memories of Cubbon park have all got to do with some sort of sexual harassment; like the time my friend and I thought we would go to Cubbon Park and meditate but opened our eyes to a group of men who had surrounded us. Or the time I went cycling to Cubbon Park and there was a man jerking off behind a tree, or when we went tree climbing and men decided to sit right beneath our tree, even though there were about a thousand other options. 
The main reason, in all honesty, I fell asleep, was because I trusted the group. I knew someone had their eyes open and would stop anything happening. Knowing that helped me let go and I was asleep in about seven minutes. It was a very restless sleep. the kind an afternoon nap gives me, full of dreams…but upon awakening, it was weirdly empowering to know that I had slept in Cubbon Park, free of men surrounding me when I opened my eyes. 

Rajalakshmi: The idea of falling asleep in a public space with people around and maybe staring at you and walking by, though scary, turned out to be quite relaxing. 

Akash Nandi: Slowly my body went to sleep but not my mind. For some reason I was asleep yet
wide awake and was aware of what was happening. In such a liberal space, I came about my own 
solitude. It was different in a way that all my thoughts passed without judgment, which rarely happens.

Rashi: I sat on my mat. I saw my fellow mates lie down and then I did too. For the first few minutes, I 
looked around to see if they were all comfortable. And then I looked up at the sky, which was on the 
other side of the canopy made by the trees that had grown so tall. I loved looking at the patterns 
they made, the way the leaves swayed. Some leaves fell and it felt like a movie shot. I was slowing 
drifting into my zone and I was relaxed. I closed my eyes and let the play of colours begin. That is 
one thing I relate to my childhood, where I would just sit in the sun with my eyes closed and watch 
one colour turn into another. I don’t remember how and when did I fall asleep. However, I’m sure I 
wasn’t thinking about anything. I was in a happy place. All of this while lying straight, with my face 
looking up and my body relaxed.  I think the initial comfort was because of my friends also 
performing the same activity. If I were alone in the park, I would have not done this. I might not have 
even spent so much time alone in the park. I was comfortable doing this as a part of a group. So 
comfortable that I was able to isolate my presence and feel the space around me as my own.

It was a good experience.

Manpreet:I think i failed at the sleeping exercise. Even though I tried my level best i couldnt fall asleep primarily because i need absolute darkness to fall asleep.However i did manage to relax quite a bit. And i remember that there was a point of time when i reached close to almost drifting away to sleep, but a constant distant scream for help brought me to consciousness. After that i just couldn't sleep...



16.11.14

Action Hero Sunday - Bangalore















Next Picnic 11 am, November 30th.
Save the Date
Picnics must not be missed

New Action Heroes Include!

We're thrilled to welcome the following Action Heroes to Blank Noise as volunteers and interns.

Khushboo Ranka - Delhi
Sruthi Samuel - Delhi
Satya Gummulri - Germany
Vira Mistry - Bangalore
Aarushi Sood- Chandigarh
Raahat Varma - Ludhiana
Avani Tandon - Delhi/ Mumbai
Emily Griffith - Wales, UK
Anjali Katta- Canada

* This list will be updated by November 24th 2014.

Making visible the contribution of Action Heroes over this year.
Here's to each of you for the extra effort and action!

Rishita Nandagiri - Bangalore
Nirbheek Chauhan - Bangalore
Sascha Hughes Caley - Philadelphia
Lijya Perayil - Bangalore


10.11.14

Next - ' Action Hero Picnic ' - Next Sunday 11 am

Action Hero Picnic dated 9/11/2014
Next Action Hero Picnic in Bangalore on November 16th at noon.
Do email blurtblanknoise@gmail.com for exact location






5.11.14

Kissy Map


Do you know the word for 'KISS' in Indian Languages?
Send it to Paromita Vohra here


reference:
Kiss Of Love

Sunday !



Hello Bangalore Action Heroes,
It's November. 
Action Heroes must get out and play.
November 9th is picnic day.
Timing - 12 noon until 3 pm
Location : Central Bangalore / will be shared when you confirm attending.
Bring along friend, your own water bottle, something to sit on,
scissors and a stack of old newspapers.
Pets are allowed and very welcome.
Don't be late. Picnics must not be missed.
Call us at 9886840612 and or email us blurtblanknoise@gmail.com 
Yours truly.
Blank Noise Team

4.11.14

In Case Of Domestic Violence : LEAVE

If you're feeling
Threatened
Small
Worthless
Unsafe
Unheard
Invisible
Bruised
Exhausted
Tired
Attacked
Burnt
Worthless
Invisible
Small
Unheard
Unseen
Blamed
Exhausted
Defending
Trying
Justifying
Over
and
Over
and
Over
and
Over again
Trying
Explaining
Justifying
Excusing
Allowing
Hoping
Wishing.
Justifying.

Leave.

Cycles
Circles
Cycles
Circles
Circles
Spinning
Cycles.
Circles.
Wishing
Hoping
Exhausted
Burnt
Blamed
Burnt
Raw
Burnt
Bitter
Burnt
Bruised.
Red.

Leave.

23.9.14

Attention Action Heroes Worldwide : Call To Volunteer/ Intern


We're on full gear preparing for the I  Never Ask For It campaign ; designed to tackle and arrest blame across spaces of sexual violence. 

With this we're creating a Global Action Hero Network. This is a call for new internships (duration 4 months) , and to volunteer (time involvement can be designed by you in collaboration with us)
  • You can volunteer/ intern from where you are geographically located
  • You are also welcome to work with us from our studio in Bangalore, India
  • We can match your area of interest / skills with campaign requirements
  • Last day for application October 15th
  • We will get back to you by November 1st, 2014

Please do write to us at blurtblanknoise@gmail.com incase of any questions. 
If you have already volunteered with BN in the past and would like to re connect,  we would be thrilled to have you back!

There is no application criteria and we've been built 100% by Action Heroes, i.e you.

Do forward this to those interest, encourage people around you to apply. Yes we want Action Hero Grandmas to apply too!

We're currently particularly seeking individuals with an interest in video editing, sound editing, 
illustration, comics, communication design ( web and print) , programming, research , multi lingual skills, fund raising. 

Have stated that, one of our recent interns from Bangalore did none of the above, and chose to work with the police.
Another set of volunteers / Action Heroes include law students from Kolkata.  
A new Action Hero has moved to Bangalore from Norway and is taking the deep plunge into a participatory research project that is part of the campaign. We will be sharing internship and volunteer contributed projects shortly.

In solidarity,
Blank Noise Team 

19.9.14

* Wearing my label * I Never Ask For It #StandWithSuzette #ParkStreetGirl

Call To Action :

Kolkata citizens gathered opposite Ginger. Action Heroes at BN had prepared a secret action plan , which could not be executed due to the level of threat and policing organised by Ginger.
Take Back The Night, Kolkata had also called citizens to action at the venue.
Action Heroes, Shuktara Lal, Dana Roy and Sumona Chakravarty engaged with individuals gathered at the protest . We created labels as an attempt to own the label we wear, to turn the insult #ParkStreetGirl back as a strength instead. Cheering the three Action Heroes for intervening and reporting to action on such short notice! While the intervention wasn't as planned and scripted, the team of three worked around the many shifts of events that took place on the same evening ; for instance at 5 pm we heard that section144 had been imposed.

Shuktara Lal's report below:



photo credit: Sumona Chakravarty

photo credit : to be updated



Shuktara Lal:
I’ve never found it easy to claim access to public spaces in Calcutta as a woman. One of the many hurdles stacked up between my lived reality in the city and the city I would want it to be is the virtual impossibility of standing still. That is, standing still without being harassed whether verbally or physically. What I appreciated most about this intervention was that I was able to stand still on a fairly busy pavement for nearly half an hour – and I felt as if I could have done so even longer. The space I occupied was respected, my body language was respected, my spoken (or in this case written) message was respected too. It was my label which seemed to protect me and act as a kind of shield, separating passersby from me. Some of them glanced at my label (but not too many actually read the whole of it) and moved ever so slightly away from me as if to indicate a degree of wariness. Some, perhaps having already seen others wearing labels, slotted me as a member of a protest gathering and didn’t pay me much attention (the fact that the city at that time was protesting a number of different things was shared public knowledge; Calcutta can be a lot of things but one thing it always is, is aware of what its citizens may be protesting). However, everyone let me simply be, including shopkeepers with stores behind where I was standing. And because I can count the number of times I have been able to do that in my life, I stood still, took in the ambience around me and lapped it all up.

*

'We' have the right to protest. Be heard. To dissent. 

The protests organised by Take Back The Night and Blank Noise are both non violent and peaceful.
We have been told that Section 144 has been invoked, and there is risk involved in participating today. If you can make it, be there at Ginger, 7 pm, to join in a non violent and peaceful gathering.

For those who are not attending the collective action, we request you to share solidarity by uploading a self portrait, yes ‪#‎selfie‬ with your message on your t shirt. ‪#‎StandWithSuzette‬ 

Make that you fb profile photo tomorrow, through the week. Share this far and wide. Now.

How to prepare for a message on your t shirt:

1) " Park Street Girl " - I _____ ( add your name)


* choice 2 - the challenging one, but worth the effort 

2) Make your message personally relevant.
Think of your own label. How are you stereotyped? 
Are you, 'slut', 'single', 'good girl', 'cougar', 'divorcee' , 'unmarried', 'rape survivor', 'survivor of sexual assault' ( most of us are), ' gay', 'lesbian ', 'queer' , 'transgender' - identify your label and appropriate it on your t.


Example:
" Groped by my tuition teacher at age ____ " survivor of sexual assault
'DIVORCEE' - I walked out of my abusive marriage.
" I survived rape " - rape survivor
" Chakka' - Transgendered Citizen 


Selfie dates:  Sept 20th -  Sept 28th

Please use the following hashtags on twitter
#INeverAskForIt
#StandWithSuzette




17.9.14

Calling Kolkata Action Heroes:

Action Hero, Suzette Jordan

Suzette Jordan was denied entry at Ginger. The manager said she couldn't be allowed in because she is the 'Park Street Rape Victim'. Read more here

The victim blaming continues, it's easy. 
" She was drunk and made a commotion" (response from Ginger authority)
" She had an outstanding bill  (response from Ginger authority)
" She is attention seeking " (comments made online)


We are preparing a collective response  and need you with sleeves rolled , heart and in numbers.

Here's what we need for the secret plan of action
1. A plain tee shirt of any colour but not a dark shade ( yellow/ blue/ pink / orange / white )"
2. A permanent marker to write on the tshirt. Colour black.

Further details will be shared when we hear from you. Please note that this is a secret action plan and we can only disclose further as soon as we hear from you. Be there.

Action Heroe will join Take Back The Night team following the secret plan.
Please do email us asap at blurtblanknoise@gmail.com

Thank you.
BN team