A Feminist in Fragments
5 EPISODE SERIES| HINDI| 2022
Performance stills from A Feminist in Fragments - Antarman ke Antardwand
Am I feminist enough? Am I engaging enough with injustices around me? Am I being too critical or just being performative? Am I pushing my boundaries? Am I becoming comfortably numb? Am I reading enough? What are my privileges? What are the disadvantages of my socio-economic and cultural position? Am I using my social location to amplify ideas of justice, freedom and equality? Am I a feminist when I care for ageing and ailing parents? Am I a feminist when I yearn for a heteronormative idea of love? Am I a feminist when I don a
saree, wear kajal and plump up my lips with lipstick?
These are a few of the myriad questions that the 5 part narrative and musical performance series intends to address. Through the medium of words, music, rhythm and metre, the subjective process of becoming a feminist is interrogated and expressed, a process which requires an undoing and reconfiguration of the self, an overhaul of ideas, beliefs and values and
negotiations with one’s multiple identities and roles as well as with one’s family, community
and social, cultural and economic institutions that constitute one’s context.
Episode 1. Bas Kuch Aur Din. The first episode explores the dilemmas of care giving. Women are assumed to be the nurturers and care takers in societies worldwide but when one has to assume the role of a care giver under a certain set of circumstances and one somewhat willingly takes up the role, does the decision constitute a feminist choice?
Episode 2 Man Ki Shanti. The second episode explores the complex relationship that one can have with religion. What are the lines dividing the religious, the spiritual and the metaphysical? Why we as women partake in religion despite it enshrining oppressive practices towards our kind?
Episode 3. Jism ki Farmaishen. The third episode explores the desires of one's body. a yearning for a heteronormative monogamous love is rife with struggles and strife and yet the desire for it cannot be subdued, hidden or wished away.
Episode 4. Ache Ghar ki Betiyan. The fourth episode explores the struggle with the notion of the ideal woman, in what circumstances one chooses to resist the notion and under which ones one doesn't find the courage to do so? What are the markers of ideal femininity and what happens when one does or doesn't adhere to them.
Episode 5. Naarivaadi! Kaun Main? The fifth episode explores one's relationship with feminism. Why do I think I can or cannot call myself a feminist. What are the different performative roles associated with oneself and how do they relate to being a feminist? What still remains to be done?
A Feminist in Fragments - Antarman ke Antardwand is a 5 episode narrative and performance series. It uses narration of thoughts, doubts, anecdotes and internal dialogues which are interwoven with relevant music and poetry to allow an entire gamut of self-expression. The idea behind creating this artwork was to document the various internal and external negotiations that take place within one's subjective self in the process of constituting the self as a feminist. This process is seldom linear and ideal and involves struggles, frustrations, failures alongside empowering of the self through consciousness raising. One of the main strengths of feminism lies in self-reflexivity emanating from 'personal is political'. Thus, to document the becoming self with all its paradoxes and idiosyncrasies becomes a feminist process.
About the artist
Urvija Priyadarshini is an academic and a freelance musician. A feminist by training and ideology, she is interested in the politics of culture, arts and religion. She has recently finished her Doctorate in Gender Studies from University of Hyderabad. In her doctoral thesis she has explored the notion of women's agency by examining the religious lives of widows of Vrindavan. She has a Masters in social work from TISS, Mumbai with specialization in women centered social work. She also has a diploma in Hindustani Classical Vocal music from Sangit Mahabharati, Mumbai. She is a caregiver for her mentally ailing father and in her free time she likes to teach and make music, cook, upcycle and care for her plants and pets.
Writing, conceptualisation and performance | Urvija Priyadarshini
Music | Urvija Priyadarshini
Camera, art and editing | Apeksha Priyadarshini