One Night Stand: public participatory performance to reclaim the streets. May 27 Brigade Road Coffee Day 6 pm. Please call to participate. 98868 40612

27th may 2004

Payal, Romal, Sandhya and I are drenched as we enter at Coffee House on MG Road. Time 4 30 pm.

I begin to believe that god is a man against feminism.

It continues to pour and I receive a hundred text messages:

“Is it on?”

“Sorry I don’t think I can make it.”

“Am stuck in traffic.”

6 pm:

It is still drizzling. The traffic is less. We move from coffee house to coffee day. The people there are nice, smiley, friendly.

Out of the 13 expected the people that showed up were Payal, Rahima, Romal, Sandhya, Hemangini, Rahima, Namita. Umesh. Smriti, Umang and Yashas showed up as documenters of the event..

People required: 14
Numbers present: 8
People missing: 6

“Let’s get people on the street to participate!”

The event for the evening took various avatars while being introduced to different people.

At the traffic signal we say, “Hello, we are doing social work here. Can you put these posters up at the police traffic signals?” we also let him know that we were going to do a small performance without interrupting the traffic.

( The traffic police man was a nice man. He whistled and we would exit. No problem on that front at all. )

Or “hello we are doing a project on street sexual harassment…err….eve teasing and we invite you to participate. Would you like to be an alphabet of the sentence, ‘ Y R U LOOKING AT ME?’ and appear/disappear at traffic signals?

We targeted the shop “Health and Glow”: a shop where one can buy all the girly things from body wash to cosmetics to sanitary napkins. Rahima, Namita and I went about introducing the project idea to both customers and the working staff. We were lucky to find participants in the customers there. Neha, Vikram, Siraj and Rajitha there. THANKYOU!!

(Everyone is all smiles and we walk onto the road.)

Yes it happened.

The reactions:

More questions
Public support.

“I think people were willing to listen. it was a good place to catch them. But they need a slogan. Something condensed so that they get the point. There were also some inquisitive people who got into a dialogue and supported it.” Smriti Chanchani.

"hi machlee,i thought our performance was somewhat rudimentary, but it was bold.i liked the idea of facing the public at the traffic junction.was confrontational,its also cool that we just stood there in silence.i dunno if i'm up for another performance on the same lines.it takes a lot out of you.but i'm up for something more exciting.lets work out some other performance modes/ideas.i see myself working a lot with public performance too, so it might be helpful for me to think along these lines.what i've been uneasy about is if theres space for another artist on your project and if i'm okay with not being sole producer/author and helping someone else at this stage.and the other thing is if you're okay with someone else's creative labour.little came across about the cause.thats there.pamphlets all that i think needs to be worked out if you want to.see you soon,rahi. "

" We should give additional information, such as pamphlets."- Vikram.

Plan B:

Let’s do it again. Lets improvise on it.


J said...

Hi again,

Just a response to a comment on the website about ideas for the next
performance. I liked both the ideas -of having diverse groups as well
as diverse clothing- because that would help to challenge the
stereotype of "who gets harassed on the street". Also we need to
remember that majestic is a very different kind of environemnt from
brigade road - it is much more conservative and the people would be a
mix of both urban as well as rural. This may need some thinking
through and may make the performace much more challenging.


J said...

Hi Akhila

the performance/demonstration has been re scheduled for wednesday. it would be great to hear your ideas and thoughts on majestic...would you like to meet me tomorrow? monday 13th?

at the moment I am thinking on the following lines:

1. to get a committed group of 30 people.

2. to allow mobility- the group of performers move across different areas- start from the four mg road traffic signals- to hanging by the railing on brigade road- moving back to residency road signals..moving towards majestic and avenue road.

3. we are read as "WHY ARE YOU LOOKING AT ME?" taking the last time's experience into account we got two basic reactions
a) public curiousity
b) public discomfort.

4. Dealing with curiosity: four amongst us will be distributing pamphlets which are both in kannada and english. the pamphlets address all three VICTIM/ PERPETRATOR/ MUTE SPECTATOR. at the end of the pamphlet there is a space for the public to identify their category- tick it- tear it off and put it in the opinion poll box. they can also leave their contact details if they like. they can also join in the demonstration.

5. before we intervene the desired spaces, we should plaster the walls with the poster readnig section 354. hence create the environment.

6. while all this is going on, people on the streets will also be given reflectors and reflective badges...i imagine mostly women wearing them- thereby reclaiming the street.

this much for now...

look forward to hearing from you.

the time alloted for all this is 3-4 hours starting 5 pm. wednesday, 15th June. 2005

J said...

hi vikram

this time we have the pamphlets!!


J said...

where is akhila!?

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