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.