DHARAVI WORKSHOP

Introduction by Dharavi Artroom founder Aqui Thami: 

"Flawless is a project that put young adult girls in Dharavi at the center of deconstructing the concept of girlhood/womanhood. In order to challenge and unlearn dominant mainstream paradigms and gain familiarity with their own subjective understanding of themselves and their experiences and consequently establish their own concept of girlhood free from external biases.

For this episode of Flawless we worked with four young girls Divya, Kajal, Soniya and Ramrathi. The girls used digital point and shoot cameras in their journey towards understanding and examining womanhood, first as they have been taught and later articulating themselves and forming new narratives of womanhood as they experience it. 

Femininity being a social construct does not only limit young girls to reach their full potential but also constant makes them doubt their worth by telling them that by being born female, they are already guilty of something. Femininity is a persistent message that the hero patriarchy sends girls everywhere telling us they are never enough. What we are as girls and women is never enough to grant us a human status. Because we are women we must; sit a certain way, speak a certain way, etc. But sadly it is not limited to that, femininity also ensures that girls from an early age internalize the idea that they are flawed and these flaws need fixing. Girls can't leave the house without paint on their face because our real face is too offensive to the world. It is almost like a social obligation to hate ourselves; any young girl that may like how she looks is narcissistic. 

Flawless is inspired by the need to acquire an understanding of what life would like if girls weren't forced to believe they were lesser because they are girls. Sarah, myself and the girls, Divya, Kajal, Soniya and Ramrathi teamed together to make this project happen. Centered on consciousness-raising techniques at its core, the program is intended to influence independence in the girls' personal lives by not only unlearning and undoing the hegemonic social construct of femininity but also articulating their newfound agency". - Aqui Thami, Doctoral Scholar at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Founder Art Room Foundation