towards the museum of street "weapons"

Please note: we do not support the use of weapons. Kindly do not misinterpret us. "Weapons" here is used as a rhetoric. The point of this is to figure out what kind of everyday objects make us feel safe or prepare us to defend ourselves.

We propose to build an online museum of street weapons with your response.

Weapons are objects of defense used by you to feel safe and protected. What are these objects and things that you carry which make you feel safe? And- how do you propose to use them?

Please send us a list of things you carry that prepare you to walk on the streets. If you like you could also send us photos of your defense weapons. If you cannot relate to it- think again- it could be in the way you hold your bag, books across chest etc. Or how many times have you pretended to talk on the mobile phone when out alone? or kept a clenched fist ready?

Think. Remember or simply look in your hand bag and send us your list.

Men are invited to participate as well- you can participate by speaking to women you know about their street weapons and add to this list. Don't just limit it to bloggers- in true Blank Noise spirit- speak with family members, friends, colleagues, domestic help, vegetable vendors- every woman you know! Share this poster on email lists, college and office walls, apartment buildings, neighbourhoods and markets- let's get this going!

You can also confirm/ join in on facebook:

Blank Noise Team

disclaimer: Blank Noise does not support "weapons and violent activity" unless absolutely required for defense. Blank Noise is interested in understanding fear , addressing fear and generating discourse around it.

Kismet Nakai, Mandy Van Deven, Ritambhara Mehta
, Anasuya Sengupta, Hemangini Gupta, Dimplicious, Maya Singh, Ratna Apnender, Lindsey Rieder , Sravanthi Dasari,Megha Joshi Bhagat, Sravanthi Dasari, Chitra Badrinarayan, Ritu A Kamath, Maya Hussein Kovskaya, Radha Pandey, Amrutha Bushan, Aastha Gupta, Alaphia Zoyab, Katheeja Talha,Kritika Sharma, Marjorie Barboza, Nabila Zaidi, Annie Zaidi, Arushi Singh, Shaheema Shaw...

supporting text from the blogathon(2006)

She cocoons herself and turns a blind eye to the truth that several men are gazing at her, with not-so-friendly eyes

. Being prepared for such situation does not only mean carrying pepper sprays and joining the weekend Kung Fu/Karate class. The preparation has to start from the mind

Some things, you get used to. Like rage.You will learn to laugh. Humour is a great self-defence tool.

When in public - don't sing, don't smile, don't swing your arms, or your hips. It is better to wear a frown on the streets, along with mouth that looks like it can chew your head off, spewing some rather choice invective, if bothered.

Learn filthy abuse; use it.

A training in martial arts is not every woman’s cup of tea. So, that leaves us with just one weapon - COURAGE!

Listen Audio:

Street Tales of Hyper Women between the age group of 11 to 80 years : Manchester. UK. Cornerhouse



*Please note change of venue.**

We are now meeting at Spencer Plaza, Phase III, Ground Floor Atrium.
Time: 1130 a.m.
Same date: November 30, 2008.


We promise you it will be simple. quick. fun and challenging.
So bring along your mom, grandmother, friends, family, colleagues.
Let's make some action heroes!

Say yes and email us at blurtblanknoise at gmail dot com to confirm
or simply click confirm on the facebook events page:

We would love to reveal more details but then the surprise of it will be lost. Details will be given out to those who request or confirm.

along with Prajnya- Swarna and Nirupama will be working towards making this happen.

You can make this happen by working with us on the pre production or by simply being there no later than 11 45 on November 30th. Pondy Bazaar.

Sign up!



Blank Noise is a community of Action Heroes ( citizens as volunteers) committed to building safe cities.

You could volunteer your time. skills and efforts into building this collective. You could also propose a project idea by writing to us at blurtblanknoise at gmail dot com.


Being An Action Hero and working with Blank Noise is about
  • being self confrontational
  • tackling your own biases. questioning them.
  • asking questions
  • meeting deadlines
  • rolling your sleeves . getting your hands dirty
  • being a good listener
  • being enthusiastic
  • being patient
  • being persistent
  • being open
  • responsible
  • putting in that extra bit
  • about collective ownership
  • about doing small things
  • about making time
  • about putting yourself out there
  • about conviction

Got that?
Below is an application form for volunteers and interns.

# TO CREATE BLANK NOISE IN YOUR CITY . OR TO BE ACTIVELY INVOLVED WITH BLANK NOISE FROM YOUR CITY- SIGN UP HERE( time period is not defined. could be one or a variety of tasks/ interests/ ideas)

# SIGN UP TO BE A BLANK NOISE INTERN ( time period 2 months)

If you have volunteered with Blank Noise in any way possible- do send in your photo
at blurtblanknoise at gmail dot com

(flickr blog maintained by Dhruva Ghosh. Saptarshi Chakrabarty and Purba Sarkar)

We thank the following people for signing up as volunteers and interns:

Prateek Shukla



(easy to print version above)

STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO UNAPOLOGETIC WALKING is a compilation of things to remember while walking. It is in the form a down loadable print friendly version here * ( up in 1 day) - so do make sure it's up at your colleges, office , home, neighbourhood, local club and every where!

Share the results here.

1. walk very very slowly.
2. walk without your phone.
3. walk without your bag.
4. walk without your arms crossed or folded.
5. walk without your sunglasses.
6. walk without looking on the ground.
7. walk looking at passersby.
8. walk with your shoulders back
9. walk with your chin a little raised.
10. walk with a smile.
11. walk swinging your arms.
12. walk humming a song.
13. walk whistling.
14. walk day dreaming.
15. walk in the middle of a pavement.
16. walk alone.
17. walk without your duppata.
18. walk wearing the one garment you always wanted to but did not because you someone made you feel 'you are asking for it'.
19. walk alone.
20. walk at 7 am. 5 am. midnight. 3 pm. 1 pm. 9 pm.

Our street actions over the last few years have been based on emphasizing small simple scenarios- which can be challenging even though they appear 'normal' and everyday. For instance- should it be hard to just 'stand' on the street as an 'idle' woman?
Would you 'dare' try it?

Keeping in sync with that trajectory of thought we have published this poster on the Blank Noise Blog.
Here's a Step By Step Guide To Unapologetic Walking

We have attached a B/W print friendly version -should you want to print out this A3 size poster
and spread the word in your office, college, school, neighbourhood? anywhere you have access to.

Some of you who have been associated with Blank Noise for a while may have already tried the step by step guide-
in that case we invite you to share your experiences from or try it again!

We request you to take charge by volunteering to translate the poster in your local language as well.
Do email us at blurtblanknoise at gmail dot com to inform us if you're interested.

Ofcourse, your response is crucial to this proposal. share your response here
or simply leave it at the comments section on the post.

Be an Action Hero!

yours truly,

Blank Noise Team

Thanks to Rhea Daneil for suggesting easy to print b/w posters!

Thanks for spreading the word Sue!

Some months ago we had posted this on walking- based on interviews with women
in Manchester, UK.


street sexual harassment survey with you:

We received an email from Holly Kearl who has been researching street sexual harassment and would like you to participate in her online survey:

I live in the U.S. In 2007 I wrote my master's thesis on street harassment/eve teasing. Now I am preparing to write a book on the topic. As part of my research, I am conducting an informal, anonymous online survey to learn how people experience being in public, what they think are appropriate/inappropriate stranger interactions, and how they define street harassment/eve teasing. People have a chance to share stories in the survey too because one of the main things I want to do in my book is share people's stories - while many websites like Blank Noise share them, I don't know of a book that does. I have never been to India but I have been following various news articles and stories on Blank Noise about eve teasing and so I would love to include people's experiences in my research and in the stories I share in the book. Feel free to take and share the survey with others.


I will be the only person who sees the results and if there is a question you don't want to answer, you can skip it.


Blank Noise Spectators Special continues:

Blank Noise Spectators Special was created as an attempt to understand the bystander in regard to street sexual harassment. More often than not survivors/ 'us' refrain from creating a scene because there have been times when the public has just stood there watching. How should the public react? We don't and would not like to prescribe a formula for how public should react- which is why we open it to you- to share experiences of how you as a spectator to street sexual harassment became a witness and showed support. If you were unable or reluctant to show support we would like to know what stopped you.

Every individual makes the public split into survivors, spectators and 'perpetrators'.
Tell us your version of the story.

Like always, we encourage you to take the discussions home- speak to your neighbours, family members, friends, strangers..find out, discover and share it at

You could use this form. BNSblog will be updated every weekend.

some notes to spectators. some notes of spectators
Sabah Ahsan Malik
more here


This bike belongs to Vivek from Jaipur

About 2 years ago, Vivek Kakkar from Jaipur met Blank Noise members in Delhi at a meeting. He enthusiastically participated by translating several testimonials ( of the blogathon) to hindi. This was for a Blank Noise street action in Delhi that evening.

He took back Blank Noise stickers to Jaipur and had put this one on his bike at first . He says that the sticker got washed away in the rain but he made another one- the one you see on his bike!

He sent us this photograph about a year ago. Apologies for sharing it so late, but we felt that the time has come to talk about how men have built Blank Noise over the years.

BN: When did you decide to put a Blank Noise sticker on your bike?
Vivek: I read that sticker first and thought where i can stick this, then i thought these things should come into view so i put it on my bike, i took my bike to normal places like juice shops, bakerys, malls, cigratte shops etc, where i use to go as lots of young people and my friends are present, my friends asked me why did i have sticked unwanted instead of wanted as in sticker rest things were in background and it was in bold letters, then i said , read it fully, then i asked them what u feel about eve-teasing, your views, why we stare, comment etc, then some said its bad habit, lots of things one question which was raised everywhere was , about clothes which girls wear.

BN: did they ask you why you wanted that sticker on your bike?
Vivek: Yes some asked and I replied that lot of us stick different stickers which are of no use and i sticked it becaused it looked different and may be other can stick some inspiring stickers

One friend said yeh kya lagaya hai kuch acha lagata.
(What have you put on your bike?! you should have put something better).
I said dear sticker bhe hai( it's a sticker too) and also awareness for people .

BN: Did anyone get annoyed or irritated with the sticker on your bike?
Vivek : No , no one was angry or annoyed with sticker, not even my family, second one raised little less as people abbrevated it to fifferent menaing and then i explained them about it and about this project, its aim etc

BN : Why do you react to eve teasing? what makes you want to address 'eve teasing'?

Vivek: I react to eve teasing because i think its not a good thing and people who do so must understand that it gives a wrong message to society about yourself and what you will feel if such incident happens by chance with female members of their family. i will think hundred times before doing such things. And i want to address this issue because i feel it a problem these days , not many peole are working on this and above all i respect all females

BN: but what happens lets say if you find a girl attractive...you dont see her as a mother. sister. etc..you are a stranger to this girl how would you try to get to know her? or how would yo look at her? what would happen?when does it become 'eve teasing'? when does it become 'flirting'? or feeling attracted to 'flirting'? or feeling attracted to someone and expressing it?
Vivek : If i find a girl attractive and I'm stranger to this girl , if I have to look from my perspective I would not try to get to know her, but if i had to know her then will probably find out some decent way and if im not able to find out decent way then will not try to know her, i would look at her as a normal girl and will ignore. it becomes eve teasing when people find girl attractive and say some comments and try to touch her or roam around her, follow her without any reason.

BN :How did you start thinking about eve teasing?
Vivek : When i read into newspapers , heard about teaisng incidents and when one happened with my friend i started thinking about eve-teasing. I noticed while growing up that people unnecessarily comments on girls, ladies in markets, in parks, people following girls, etc

I have seen..people harrasing girls in buses, making comments on roads in traffic and some when sitting in malls making fun and comments on girls their ...

BN :Do your friends eve tease?

Vivek :few of them, remeber i once asked u about it that one of friend stares a lot , what i should i do?
I discussed with him a lot, made him understand many a times, then said look, what if someday u r trapped and public smashes u, or if ur sister faces such things what will u feel, slowly slowly he started understanding but still some problem is there but i will pull out that too

Vivek , age 24 , is based in Jaipur. He is a member of Pravah since 2007.
He is enthusiastic about the idea of a Blank Noise Jaipur

(we have been receiving emails from Jaipur- its time to call for a national meet up and get you in touch with each other! keep them coming!)

If you're male and have gotten into discussions with men about street sexual harassment or eve teasing- do write in to us at blurtblanknoise at gmail dot com. We would love to hear from you


Moments of a Long Pause

Moments of a Long Pause is a 2 channel video installation based on interviews with men and women on the streets of 5 cities in India (Delhi, Agra, Ludhiana, Amritsar, Calcutta) . The video brings men and women in a conversation. The conversation is built on the personal street experience of fear, sexual harassment, sexual violence, flirting, wooing, 'teasing'.

The 2 channel video attempts to understand how both men and women approach eve teasing and street sexual violence in their daily lives.

Moments of a Long Pause has been Comissioned by Bronx Museum of Arts ( Street Art, Street Life 2008)
also supported by: Akademie Schloss Solitude.

Moments of a Long Pause can be seen from today Sept 14 until Jan 25 (2008)at the Bronx Museum of Arts, Bronx. NY with the show Street Art, Street Life

confirm on facebook:

Thanking ALL members of the Blank Noise team, Action Heroes, bloggers, supporters who ever raised a question on this subject- each comment either in support or against has given us insight into the issue.


We thank Dana Roy, Trippy Scarlet, Hemangini Gupta, Annie Zaidi, Smriti Chanchani, Saurabh, Ravindranath Gutta, Shabnam Virmani, Anjora Naronha, Umang Bhattacharya, Indri, Nita, Narinder, Rupam, Ivan Medenica, Papoo Singh, Chandan +Nupur Mathur( for shooting), Timo Boeker( edit assistance) + many many many Action Heroes

MOMENTS OF A LONG PAUSE has been screened / installed at the following places

Bronx Museum of Art - commissioned for the show Street Art Street Life. 2008
Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver (2010) installed until Jan 25. 2011
3331 Arts Chiyoda via Dislocate , Tokyo(2010)
GSU Atlanta (2010)
MGallery BMB, Mumbai (2010)
Transportraits- Delhi (2010)
Akademie Schloss Solitude (2008)

To buy a copy of the video for screening purposes only please email us at blurtblanknoise AT gmail.com
We will be announcing future screenings on this page.


Speak out, ring the bell

(excerpt from Moments of  a Long Pause. Blank Noise video)

This past month has been all about the spectator at Blank Noise. We asked you to send in stories of street harassment: what you saw, how you reacted, what provoked you, how you negotiated with the larger public around you when it was someone else being harassed.
We have many, many spectator responses.

I was walking to the gurudwara early morning.. One boy was dragging a girl forcing her to come on the motor bike. I think they worked at night and were returning home. The boy insisted that the she come with him. I was observing and walking past. I passed a shiv mandir/temple and it struck me that I should go help that girl.

I went in and said "what is the problem?"
The boy asked me to mind my own business.

" Let me talk to this girl if she wants to go with you then I have no problem. If she doesnt want to go then i will not let her go".
The girl said that she does not want to go.

I shouted at him. His friends also said that he should let her go.

I told him that I would call the police.

My mobile was ready with the cop thana no.

He asked me what my objection was. I said there are 4 boys and 1 girl and I have been seeing this react. I said " will you leave her or not?! "

He asked me what relation I had with the girl to interfere. I said " human being"

Finally he let go off her hand. The girl went off with another boy. I got scared thinking that now the boys might attack me. I hopped into a taxi and went to the gurudwara. This was a huge experience for me.

We are still asking you to share your experiences as spectator's. If you are a male and have witnessed street harassment, write to us. Speak out. As we continue with our Spectator's Special - the "special spectator's who acted as well - we join hands to support another effort - Breakthrough's Bell Bajao.

Breakthrough is a fabulous group that does advocacy around rights issues using new media, and their latest campaign is Bell Bajao, asking you to speak out and take action when you encounter domestic violence. Ring the bell, register your protest, speak up and don't look the other way.

It ties in beautifully with the phase we are at with Blank Noise as well, right now - asking for men's responses to issues of violence against women whether in the private space (as the Bell Bajao campaign highlights) or in the public sphere (which is what Blank Noise is about).

The Bell Bajao campaign is up here and it tells you all about responding to domestic violence, provides a forum to share testimonials, games to play, a Wiki page that details both responses as well as what the law says.

More than anything, it asks you to speak out and share. Go to their blog and break the silence around domestic violence by speaking out.



Blank Noise Spectators Special: deadline extended


scroll below to see list of participants. to participate please announce the event on your blog, or forward event details to people you know. let us know you will be sharing your thoughts on being a spectator and we will add your name below.
No. You do not have to be a blogger to participate!

The public on the street comprises of those who 'experience' street sexual harassment, i.e. the survivors; those who cause street sexual harassment i.e the perpetrators and those who witness street sexual harassment i.e the spectators.

Our very own stat counter on the right hand bar of the page says that 22% of the Blank Noise blog visitors are spectators. Now its your turn to speak!

Most cases of street sexual violence go unnoticed because they are intangible , can be doubted as 'accidental brush/ touch' ( strictly in the Indian context). More often than not the survivor feels embarrassment and shame for being sexually violated and does not wish to draw further attention. Some survivors of street sexual violence don't seek public support because of the fear that 'the public' may not always show support, act indifferent, or be one more face in the crowd watching the scene.

Blank Noise Spectators Special asks members of the public, both men and women to share what they witnessed. What was your first reaction? Was it to intervene? Was it to ignore? What did you do? What would you rather have done? Can you share your thoughts about being a spectator. If you have been a 'special spectator' , that is, intervened in the situation, please tell us how! Was it with wit and humor? Or did physically assault the 'perpetrator'? Did you walk away? Or call the cops? Or gather a crowd? Or see another spectator take charge of the situation and participate in any way.

To participate in this online event please register by emailing us at blurtblanknoise at gmail dot com subject titled Blank Noise Spectators Special. Link this post to your blog, and send in your blog address. We will add you to the list below. Deadline for your post on being a spectator is August 15th.

IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A BLOG: no problem. what matters is your point of view. Register with us via email anyways. We will publish your ideas on the Blank Noise blog on Aug 15.

This event hopes to be one in the series of events planned in bringing together 'survivors'(http://blanknoiseactionheroes.blogspot.com), 'perpetrators' (male only event coming soon) and 'spectators'.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Blank Noise Team

The Spectators Special list of participants:

Kis Nakai( Kis does not have a blog to publish the Spectators Special. Her text will be published on the Blank Noise Blog on Aug 15)

Suparna Kudesia

Ritambhara Mehta

Madhu Agarwal

Saptarshi at urinnersmile

Chandrashekhar Bhattacharya

Rikimi Madhukaillya

Smriti Chanchani

Sarah Khan

Abhishek Baxi

Dale Copley

Trishima Mitra Kahn

Aparna Hajnis

Natasha Hemrajani

Kabir Sarin

Anant Shukla

Jasmeen Patheja

Shaji Krishnan

Varna Shri Raman

Jamie Finlay

Aparajita Sharma

Joann Canning

Fahd Hussein

Anshika Varma

Amit Vardhan

Amandeep Kaur

Ishwinder Jauhar

Preeti Mangala Shekhar

Nitin Sarin

Hemangini Gupta

Kasmin Fernandes

Devika Dave

Seema Seth

Vaishnavi Bhaskaran

Nadia Saggi

Preksha Kothari

Dhruva Ghosh

Sanjana Janardhan


+ 50 people 'might' participate





If Blank Noise members, supporters, volunteers, participants would like to meet and belong to either of the three places, please get in touch with us at blurtblanknoise at gmail dot com
Would love to hear from you!

Thank you
Blank Noise Team


From an 'ex- eveteaser'

1. Your - age- background
Age: 29
Software Engg

2. why do you refer to yourself as an ex 'eve teaser'. what did you do?
I have given up on eve teasing. I got introduced to you by narrating my story.

3. what is eve teasing to you- what was the range of things that you did
Mostly caressing the bottom or thighs in crowded places. Rubbing private parts against the butt.

4. when and why did you stop?
Because I was punished in public.

5. how do you approach a woman stranger now? if you find her attractive?
I am married now. So no question of approaching. I have lot of friends who are girls.

6. how did you hear about Blank Noise
When I was browsing regarding eve teasing.

7. did you discuss being an 'eve teaser' , strategies and ways with your male friends?
No I used to operate alone. To my friends I was a decent guy.

8. did anyone except the woman who experienced it, really know that you could violate someone?
No. I had a decent image.

9. do you feel that 'teasing' to an extent is ok? if yes then where do you draw the line?
No it is not acceptable in any form or shape.

The answers are not meant to be seen as absolutes or solutions. It is but 1 person's experience. I thank him for sharing.

Some of the others in the mass of people

In conversation with some men on the streets of Delhi and Bangalore. These men were from across age groups 19- 65 and mostly from a mid income group or low income group. Some were tourist guides, some shop owners, auto rickshaw drivers, student union campaigner.

According to you, what kind of man sexually harasses or 'eve teases' women on the street?

"It's the impulsive type of guy that teases girls"

"It's the youth that eve teases girls on the street. Another person will treat her as his granddaughter or niece. If he calls for her on the street, he will perceive her as a family member".

"The guys who try to act smart are the ones that tease women. I don't know how to be smart or play cool..I am not like them".

"I am telling you. I am from a decent family. I don't do this kind of stuff. I go out to do my work and I come back home straight after that".

"The kind of guy that teases his sister will tease a woman on the street".

"It's the 3rd class or the middle class guy that harasses women".

What attracts you to a woman? what kind of woman? what about her? what do you do then?

" Her figure. Her body. If she has a good figure I am interested in sex, only sex. I am not interested in marriage".

" ...her hairstyle. her removing her hair from her face.."

" She should look fit. Others should find her attractive. Her body- her chest, hips...she should have a flat stomach, other parts of her figure should protrude. She should have nice hips".

" Clothes? I like women in sexy clothes".

" I remember she was wearing a pink colour suit, I remember her hair, I remember her make up, her eyes....I really wanted to approach her. I wanted my eyes to speak to her...and try to approach her".

" I like the simple and sober girls. The girl who wears a simple salwar suit and braids her hair. she should have long hair".

"...I gave her my mobile number and said that your incoming is free and my outgoing is free".

" ...I could sit down on my knees and let her know that she is the most beautiful girl in the world".

" I like foreigner girls".

" I do have a mother and a sister. I dont have a girlfriend or wife. 
   Will you be mine?"

For those of you familiar with how it works in India- the most frequently delivered line to an 'eve teaser' is- ghar mein maa behen nahin hai kya? Don't you have a mother or sister at home?

Credits to Ekta and Rajshekhar from Blank Noise who were instrumental to making this happen.


Prelude 1

Before we begin the 'Gent's Only' event we will be making publishing a few ideas that will hopefully bring to notice the range of men on the street.
For starters, we found this on youtube. Posted by someone called the 'missing agent'. This video has been called "Eve Teasing at the Party".



2 out of 1000

Over the years we have figured that there are over 1000 ways in which you could build Blank Noise. For now, we propose 2.
Every Sunday, 2 projects will be shared at Blank Noise.
Blank Noise This Place and Blank Noise Action Heroes.

Both spaces are slowly building up with your participation. Thank you!

For those of you who are new to this:
Blank Noise This Place: We ask you to go to the place where you experienced street sexaul harassment'- photograph it and send it to us. Along with the photo send in an account of what exactly occurred and where.

We will upload all photographs at

All photos will be tagged on a world map. 
Let's Blank Noise This Place!

Blank Noise Action Heroes: is a separate blog, an offshoot of Blank Noise. This place collects and builds stories of resistance. We ask you to share your strategy. How did you deal with street harassment? How did you fight or respond to it?

All Action Hero testimonials sent in by you will be uploaded at

Who takes responsibility for uploads etc?
Every city has a 2 week rotating set of 'lead volunteers' who make this happen. They send emails, put in that 'extra' bit to ensure participation. Last few weeks have had Dana Roy , Sunayana Roy from Kolkata, Suparna Kudesia from Delhi, Amrutha Bhushan from Bangalore, Nabila Zaidi from Lucknow. We encourage Blank Noise members from each city to sign up as lead volunteers towards both online events. Hope to hear from you soon!