contact Jasmeen: blanknoise@gmail.com Posted by Hello

thanking Krishnaraj Chonat

When you said street harassment,I was thinkingabout the 'institutionalised harassment' that is beingmeted out to students [particularly female students]incolleges around India,with regard to strict rulesimposed on 'proper dressing'. Many 'enlightenedinstitutions' have also recently joined this selfprofessed moral[atavistic] bandwagon. I remember this incident in college some years agowhen on 'ethnic day'[a ridiculous day/occasion tocelebrate anyway] girls who wore Ghagra cholis weresent home for 'improper dressing'[read exposedbellies]. When some of us argued that women who workin the fields in Kerala and belong to a particularcommunity often wore only blouses and the traditional'mundu',and that it is the ethnic wear of thatregion,some of the lecturers [one of them teachesTRADITIONAL PAINTING] opined that ethnic doesn't mean'so ethnic'. Perhaps one has to NOW understand[unfortunately],that even if the ethnic wear of a particular communityor region were reflective of their socio-economicstatus or occupational requirement ,its 'acceptablelimits' still need to confirm to those in whose midstit is presented,regardless of its origins or context.


thanking vivek for sending this in

Issue Date: Monday, April 11, 2005, The TelegraphMoral police prowl Hyderabad parks G.S. RADHAKRISHNA Look over your shoulder Hyderabad, April 10: Lovebirds beware! A band of about 100 men will be on the prowl in Hyderabad's parks, scanning the greens for students looking for a moment of precious intimacy.The Federation of Culture Upgradation and Social Services (Focuss) was launched yesterday to wage a campaign against kissing and petting in public places, especially parks.Mohsin, a 55-year-old ex-serviceman who is the honorary secretary, said they would pick out "errant" teenagers in school uniform and counsel them. B. Ramesh Kumar, a member who retired from the state police force five years ago, said a survey has found that it is mostly schoolchildren between 13 and 16 who go to parks looking for private space.Such youngsters are often blackmailed and abused by local thugs who catch them getting physical, he added. "More than six out of 10 cases of young girls running away from homes is due to such acts." Focuss chose Ugadi, the Telugu New Year's Day today, to launch its campaign, distributing pamphlets in parks, cinema halls, temples and community centres. It also plans to offer guidance to victims of blackmail. "We will observe confidentiality and work under the umbrella of the police, if needed, to nab the culprits," said Purushottam Rao, another member and a former postmaster.Mohsin proposes to open branches in other cities in the state to counsel young victims of harassment. But, he added: "For enlisting our support, they should vow not to do such acts in public."Focuss has drawn up a charter which prescribes that every member should oppose display of affection between the sexes in public. "Members should accost men and women who dress indecently or misbehave in public," added Purushottam Rao.The charter says: * Kissing and petting in public should be discouraged* A campaign should be waged against indecent dressing in schools and colleges, by teachers too* Protest should be made against screening of adult movies in public places, outside cinema halls * Drive should be launched against wild parties in hotels * Campaign should be run against "wild rituals" and women-only pujas in some ashrams and templesThe outfit's members - most of them retired men who meet on morning and evening walks - have planned to break up into teams that will patrol about 10-12 parks to start with. They will be armed with identity cards and are also planning to get a stamp of approval from the police.Law-keepers generally welcomed the moral police, only wondering whether they would be effective. A senior officer was sceptical. "Everybody preaches morals. One has to see whether Focuss is really for social good or just a club of some dirty old men who want to spoil the pleasures of the young," he said.The city police have launched a major offensive against dance bars that have opened in the city over the past two years. "This used to be a nawabi passion.... But dancing girls are now available for Rs 100 in bars and, outside the city, in dhabas," said police commissioner Dinesh Reddy .Women's organisations, which have been running a campaign against dance bars, have also not warmed to Focuss. The problem should be solved at the root, they say, and suggest allowing boys and girls to meet freely in schools. P. Sandhya, a prominent member of AP Mahila Samakhya, said if teenagers are allowed to interact with the opposite sex in schools, they will not head to parks and there will be no need for moral police.

The Blank Noise project started with this mind map. It has been created by an all girl group of 60 between the ages of 17-23 in 2003 in a span of three minutes.

The girls are students of Srishti School of Art Design and Technology. Posted by Hello




•www.streetharassmentproject.com is a New York based organization that works with men as ‘agents of change’.

Organizations such as MAVA: MEN AGAINST VIOLENCE AND ABUSE ( MUMBAI) are group of men working against sexual violence.

According to law, a man cannot be raped. The laws with regard to rape and indecent assault and word, gesture or act are specific to women. However there is according to law what is known as unnatural offences, which is used to criminalise homosexuality among men. Here whether you consented to sex or not is irrelevant and thus homosexual behaviour between men is an offence.
Penetration is an essential element of the offence of rape and unnatural offences and hence cannot be used to establish a crime when a man is raped by a woman, but, rape by a man (forced anal sex, and oral sex ) of a man is an offence under law.

building testimonies:

The project does not intend to begin and end on Brigade Road....

The clothes you send in could be from anywhere in the world.

They could be any kind of clothes

" But I don't remember what I was wearing"

" It was completely normal"

Yes, that's precisely the point.

If you really really really don't want to send in thc clothes ( assuming from the earlier response) you could also send me a photo of yourself wearing it.

How ever the value of it would be in 'discarding off'' the memory by actually sending in your garment.

A frequently asked question is
" But what are you going to do with the garments?"

A: It would vary depending on the place it is 'installed' at.
In answer to the Saamna article, if the clothes were to be installed at a police station, they would appear like reports, and hence installed in that manner.

If on the streets, a place like brigade road, perhaps we could put them on mannequins?

I was hoping that the people sending in the clothes would share their ideas on how they would like the clothes to be installed.

Looking forward to hearing from you

email me:





video sourced from here

Eve teasing maybe perceived as a 'joke or a prank', but it is also recognized as a criminal offence. Aarti Mundkur, Alternative Law Forum, Bangalore, answers our questions on what one can do towards taking legal action when 'eve teased'.

1. All about FIRs and procedure to lodge one.

An FIR (FIRST INFORMATION REPORT) is the complaint that a person lodges at a police station, reporting the incident that is alleged to have occurred. It is the first information that the police receive regarding the commission of a Cognizable Offence, hence First Information Report.

An FIR can only be lodged at a police station. At every police station there is an officer designated as an SHO (Station House Officer) whose job it is to lodge FIRs. Usually, FIRs are lodged at the police station in whose jurisdiction (geographical area that comes under the purview of that police station) the offence has occurred.

It is preferable to lodge the FIR in the jurisdictional police station. If that is not possible, you will have state why, and the police will forward the the FIR to the concerned police station for investigation.

An FIR may be given in writing or orally. Your complaint in writing is reduced to the basic facts and put into a standard format of the FIR. You are entitled to read it make changes etc and also get a copy for yourself FREE OF COST. If you orally lodge a complaint, which the police officer writes down, please read it and make sure that it is accurate.

You have the right to lodge an FIR, irrespective of the circumstances that surround the particular incident. Clothes you are wearing or being out late cannot be reasons given to you for not lodging an FIR. In the event that the officer does not lodge your FIR, you can ask the Inspector of the police station to do so. If that fails, get in touch with the Circle Inspector. Finally, the office of the Commissioner of Police can also lodge an FIR and forward it to the concerned police station. So, in the event that the SHO refuses to lodge your FIR you can work your your way up the hierarchy, and ensure that it is.
It is not necessary that you should name the person you are accusing. It is very common to not know who the person is. If possible try and get a name or a good description. An FIR can be lodged against anyone, including public servants.

Procedure to lodge an FIR.

An FIR should have the following details-
1) a detailed description of the incident- date, time, place included.
2) If you know the accused- then his name and address. If not, as close a description as possible.
3) You must also put down exactly what happened. E.g. If you were felt up- how and where.

2. Do I have to report the incident only to another male officer?
there are all women's police stations that one can complain at. There is one close to the Corporation (Ph: 22290228/ 222 16242) However it is not mandatory for all police stations to have women officers.

3. How long does the whole procedure take? What am I getting involved in by lodging an FIR or reporting the 'eve teaser'?
Lodging of an FIR does not take very long, maybe a few hours, at the most. By lodging one, you are putting the criminal justice mechanism into motion That is, you are asking the police to begin investigating the incident that you have reported. It is then the job of the police to investigate, arrest, take down statements etc. You may be called by the police to identify the person/s they have arrested. The police then have to file what is called a chargesheet and then the case goes to trial before a judge, where you will be the primary witness, along with others, if there are any. It is difficult to say exactly how long this whole process takes. But one can safely say that it will be at least a few months- 4 or more, for the case to actually go to trail before a judge.

4. I think I was eve teased. This guy just looked at me in a way that made me feel sick. How can I take any action against it? I don't even know who he is. What constitutes as sexual harassment in the streets? What according to the law can be seen as 'eve teasing' or street sexual harassment? Is it looking, staring, and groping, stalking? What can police do to the perpetrator/ eve teaser? How is he punishable?

Section 354 of the IPC- requires that there be assault or criminal force used intending to outrage the modesty of a woman or knowing that it will outrage her modesty. A person found guilty can be imprisoned for a maximum period of 2 years, or with a fine, or both. So, under this section a 'look' may not be enough to constitute an offence. For more details look at Section 96 of the Karnataka Police Act.

Section 509 of the IPC is broader in its purview. It includes words, gestures, sounds or exhibition of objects with a view to insult the modesty of a woman. It also includes the words “intrudes upon the privacy of a woman”. The offence is punishable with a maximum imprisonment for one year, or a fine, or both.

In the case of both these provisions, it is difficult to say what exactly constitutes an offence. Courts have held that whistling, passing comments about a woman's body, singing songs etc, come under S.509. In any case, a 'look' that makes you uncomfortable may be very difficult to establish as an act that outrages your modesty.

Groping and stalking are definitely acts that come under the purview of both sections.
What is important is that neither section uses the explicit words eve teasing or sexual harassment. Although the latter is what the sections are trying to address. The focus is on the modesty of the woman.

6. Which police person can I complain to? Can I complain to the traffic police?
If you intend to initiate a criminal case you must lodge an FIR at the police station. The traffic police can assist you in reaching the police station or if they have witnessed the incident can be made witness. Sometimes it may be enough to create a scene by getting the traffic police involved and causing embarrassment to the man.

7. If I report him, how do I protect myself after that?
Its unlikely that you will need any kind of protection. Once he is arrested, he will have to get bail before he gets out of jail. You can ask the police for protection, if there are threats etc that are made. Bail may even be canceled if there are threats etc being made to the complainant.

because it is not readable:

The Shiv Sena believes that all men are beastly, or ought to be so. At least, that is the inference we must draw from an articles in Saamna, the Sena mouthpiece, which in effect says that by wearing so called provocative clothes such as hipster jeans and mini skirts , women invite rape. The article was provoked by the recent sexual assault on a 17 year old girl by a Mumbai police constable. While describing the assault as "inhuman", the article deplored the competition amongst youngsters to wear revealing garments and warned " if a man is incited by such clothes who can one blame?" The Saamna article which raises fundamental questions , goes beyond the Sena tradition of moral policing, as exemplified by the banning of dance bars in Maharashtra.

By implying that rape is nothing more or less than a violent, conditioned response in males, who on seeing an attractive female lose all reason and restraint, the Saamna argument robs men of the basic human attribute of volition, or free will, and renders them into animals. The retort to that old and unconscionable legitimisation of rape, that "WOMEN ASK FOR IT" is the question " Even they should do so, why cant men refuse?"

Now Saamna tells us why men can't help but acquiesce helplessly in rape. They are animals who can't be trusted to control themselves.

Now it's upto the women ,is it, to impose self restrictions to avoid falling prey to men's primal passions? If this is the line of what very loosely might be called reasoning it is an obnoxious insult to men, it is the source of grievous injury to women. By telling women that they must adhere to a male dictated code of public appearance and behaviour , the Sena in a single stroke is defranchising them by denying them their constituional right of freedom of choice. choice is the basic building block of political and economic emancipation; of democracy and the free market. Threatened by incremental freedoms, social and financial, that Indian women are claiming as their own, the retrograde male authoritarianism can strike backonly through use, or threat of use, of brute force. That's what the Sena is indirectly telling us: That in order to preserve our cultural mores, men must selectively unleash their savagery and turn themselves into beasts. Any takers, of either gender, for that preposterous proposition?
Posted by Hello


...when there is no camera film.... Posted by Hello

Pallavi and I were walking around the city market in Bangalore.
This young boy lept over pallavi and screamed out
trying to say: " YOU HOT THING!!!!"
(literally meaning something `spicy and hot`- like a green chilly)
It was probably a casual `thing to do` for him.

I called him back, he walked towards me defiant and amused....

I took my camera out....

and here you have it....
 Posted by Hello

509. Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a womanWhoever, intending to insult the modesty of any woman, utters anyword, makes any sound or gesture, or exhibits any object, intendingthat such word or sound shall be heard, or that such gesture or objectshall be seen, by such woman, or intrudes upon the privacy of suchwoman, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which mayextend to one year, or with fine, or with both.
 Posted by Hello

often Im asked, "but what kind of participation?" The project is open to ideas. Right now I imagine using/ borrowing from popular media to create the work. I imagine intervention through performance. I also imagine the participants going through a workshop process and wanting to create something else altogether. Suits me fine! Posted by Hello

(bad photo) presentation at Chitra Kala Parishat. Bangalore. Posted by Hello

Bhuvana ( blore uni) disagrees with Proff Rao, " once again in the presence of the male, whether he is gay or not, the woman will be silenced..."


Professor Ram Das Rao, Bangalore University feels that the project should be an inclusive one where even the male prostitute should be given the space to 'testify'.  Posted by Hello

In its current phase Blank Noise is seeking wider participation. Presentations about the project are being made to college students around bangalore. ( this pic was taken at bangalore university)  Posted by Hello


BLANK NOISE . phase 1:

The workshops enabled the group of girls to explore their public and private identities. At the end of the workshop there were nine participants left and ready to share their experiences with an audience, which they believed was either victim or perpetrator of street harassment.

The photograph above is from the exhibition at Srishti. Each participant has chosen to illustrate her relationship with the public space. Posted by Hello

Hot News Taaza Samachar, in which I enacted a news reader that repeatedly read out daily rape reports and in the process was becoming a victim of what she was reading. She, the news reader was in denial of what was being done onto her. At the end she asked the audience “Is this news for you?”
Posted by Hello
In 1998, the number of rapes reported were 15, 031 (which is 1.5% of the number of crimes reported) and the number of molestations reported are 31, 046 (3.2%). http://www.indialawinfo.com/rightofwomen.html

an ongoing project: 'DID YOU ASK FOR IT'........."DID YOU ASK FOR IT? ” When attacked on the streets the first thing we look at is our clothing. We question if we ‘provoked’ or ‘asked to be made victim’. The garment worn at that point of time contains a memory and is witness to an experience thus becoming a testimony."

Posted by Hello also check out http://www.chrisbarr.net/apr_7.htm
sept 2004. it was decided that the clothes would ne Posted by Hello

Email responses:

(In ref to the previous post asking people to discard clothes that they wore when they felt sexually threatened by actually sending it to the blank noise project.)

There were several prompt responses to the idea of gathering clothes as testimonies.


some of the responses are below...

“I would really like to see this project grow. Though I cannot give you material support, being in Europe and not having (luckily) had any trouble in that direction whatsoever, I give you all my moral support for the brilliant idea.
I got followed a few weeks ago between Headingly and Hyde Park (about a mile of lamp lit street, quite a main road).It was about 9 pm at night. Again I was wearing the same red rain mac(it was spitting-true British weather), with a huge hood so you couldn't see my face. I couldn't particually hear much around me with the hood muffling the street sounds.I WOULD NEVER WALK AT NIGHT WITH HEADPHONES ON, LISTING TO MUSIC.I like to hear what's around me. I was wearing a short denim shirt with red tights and flat knee high boots. I wasn't 'strutting' my stuff. I was marching so fast with authority. The man asked me where I was going and....."Did I have any business tonight?"
Once I was on a day-train going to my grandmother’s and the train was really half empty. There was a middle aged man sitting in front of me and staring at me. He did that for a while, then he felt more confident and started masturbating.
I wasn’t wearing anything that could have provoked him either…
So it is…here in Europe!

This man kept asking me, “so are you from Spain?" i said no." Are you Italian?""no"" are you French"I kept walking faster and kept saying no....finallyhe asked if I was Indian....I said yes and I walked ahead.A week later I went to a university to use their library. I bumped into this very same person. He was a professor there.it was a very strange experience. I still don’t know what his intentions were. I only know that a similar experience in India would lead to a more drastic reaction....things like that are not culturally accepted here..
I'll keep my clothes till you decide. Then I’ll decide whether they can be part of theexhibition. They’re a favourite pair of pants and a tshirt, and I’m not ready to spit them out yet. Thememory you said was in the clothes is not such that Ineed to purge them of something. If anything, they'repart of a powerful experience, in which i retaliated,humiliated the perpetrator, created some awareness. Many of my young cousins (I’m almost 40) were prettythrilled and inspired.

i beat up a guy on brigade rd a couple of months> >ago. he towered over me and I’m sure my blows didn't> >physically hurt him, but I’m sure that a) he was> >embarrassed b) he'll think twice about elbowing a> >woman in the chest again.

Every time I allege misbehavior, I hear everyone pouncing to say, you asked for it.>>Rather my breasts teased the men, my hips invited their *fucking* hands, my eyes beaconed, and my dress was the open invitation--or so it is made out.
Yes, i have been a victim to this, but have not myself provoked the same with attire I was wearing at that point.

I 'm in France, how can I contribute to your project, are you interested by images or new text to print on some clothes?Tell me.
I was thinking about your project and wondered about something. If people discard the clothes they wore when they experienced any sort of abuse, it is tantamount to them saying it happened because of self clothes. It seems to take the focus away from the perpetrator and onto self.0