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Gender. Art. And Us | Gender. Kala. Aur Hum

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Dates: 30 October-2 November, 2023.  Venue: Sambhaavnaa Institute, Himachal Pradesh



It’s about art. It’s about gender. It’s about us. And in this case, the ‘us’ is primarily you. 

You may be an artist trying to figure out how to speak about issues relating to gender that are really close to your heart. You may be an activist, researcher, trainer, organiser, cultural enthusiast, college student, or simply a student of life wanting to speak in an artistic, creative way about gender, and how it intersects with caste, class, religion, ethnicity, work, leisure, dis/ability, biology, desire or much more. Or you may be a person who wants to speak about gender in the context of the environment, economy, governance or nationalism/s. 

Gender, Kala Aur Hum, organised by the reFrame Institute for Art and Expression, New Delhi in collaboration with Sambhaavnaa Institute of Public Policy and Politics, Himachal Pradesh, is for all of you.

reFrame is an initiative that produces, mentors and disseminates artistic efforts that respond to contemporary social and political challenges. 

At a time when space for free thinking and expression in India is diminishing dramatically, reFrame aims to set in motion an opposing dynamic: of expanding the ambit of creative work, with the making of connected but distinct creative outputs that we hope will complement, complicate and energise each other. Celebrating the collective energies of diverse art/s and artists, we activate dialogues across disciplines, platforms and practices. We facilitate deliberations on critical social questions and carry forward public culture projects, pedagogical initiatives, festivals and other interactive programmes that strengthen the voices of independent art and artists of our times. 


Sambhaavnaa is an alternative learning and living space for those concerned with social and political change. 


At Sambhaavnaa, a significant part of our work on gender justice in our training programmes and workshops such as Buland Irade focuses on understanding  power, patriarchy, masculinity and constitutional rights. Hence training in art based political expression through workshops such as Gender, Kala Aur Hum aligns perfectly with our vision of working towards social justice and gender equality through multiple and diverse means. 


For more info, see



Objectives of the Workshop


The central idea of the workshop is to explore and engage with the idea of using art for the articulation of political visions and lived realities, as well as a means of generating dialogue and fostering social change, with a focus on gender and its diverse and complex intersections.


Towards this end, the workshop will have multiple sessions that:

  • Unpack gender, the gender binary, its implicit and explicit hierarchies, and implications on everyday life and living. 

  • Recognise the complex interplay of gender, sexuality, caste, class, religion, ethnicity and dis/ability.

  • Discover art as a medium of articulating, confronting, or exposing issues that concern us, and our alternative imaginations of the world.

  • Create opportunities to make artworks in the medium of your choice to initiate dialogue and debate amongst each other, as a first step towards finding your artistic voice and language.


The Workshop Design

The workshop is planned as a series of interactive sessions designed to speak through, learn from and help understand/appreciate works of art created by various artists of multiple locations and gender identities. Using art works across diverse media as the primary pedagogical materials, the workshop will help participants unravel and understand questions around gender, gender and marginalities such as religion, caste and disabilities, gender and labour, and gender in relation to the state. 

Using works as varied as film and digital performances, illustrated tales and podcasts, mixed media installations and more, the workshop will also involve exercises in ‘making art’ for each participant.

In preparation, participants will receive some reading materials, and be asked to bring some objects/images/sounds/foods/etc from their own life and location around which they may create and generate their own discussions.



Resource Team


The workshop is conceived and developed by members of reFrame. A team of professionals from the worlds of art, documentary and experimental films, research, programming and commissioning of art and artworks across media. The team comprises Tulika Srivastava, Ridhima Mehra and Neeharika Sreedhar, and is led by Vani Subramanian - a feminist activist, documentary filmmaker and mixed media artist. Vani’s documentary films have been screened and received awards, both nationally and internationally. Her art practice includes video art in performance and mixed media installations.. She loves teaching and conducting interactive learning sessions on issues such as feminist movements for social justice, as well as exploring everyday gendered, lived realities through the study of the politics of place, the gendering of cinematic spaces, and so on.


Shals Mahajan is a writer, activist, layabout, part feline, somewhat hooman genderqueer fellow who lives in Bombay, but mainly in their head. They have worked on issues of gender, sexuality, caste and communalism as a trainer, teacher and activist, and enjoy conducting workshops on writing with university students, folks working on social justice issues, women returning to literacy, and queer persons. They are the author of several children’s books including Reva and Prisha, Timmi in Tangles, Timmi and Rizu, A Big Day for the Little Wheels, among others; and have co-authored No Outlaws in the Gender Galaxy.

Dhaarchidi Collective is a group of young women living in the Himalayas whose lives are interwoven around nature and the mountains; it is where we breathe, think, deliberate, dream, act and live; and on the other hand, also impacted by changing/new currents, like internet and mobile phone technologies. Dhaarchidi’s effort is to look inside ourselves and our lived realities, where incorporating our experiences, feelings, stories and questions, we explore and play with different, creative, and uncommon ways of expressing ourselves. This collective attempts to listen into the voices of pahari women and to have a local dialogue process.


Profile of Participants 


Gender, Kala aur Hum is open to all who may or may not see themselves as artists, but are interested in creating and using art for social change. Participants could include those involved in social movements, political/cultural organisations and societies, students and trainers. Those with a basic understanding of, or at least a definitive interest in understanding gender and intersectionalities, will be given preference.



Number of Participants 

20 - 25


Four days

Medium of Instruction

English and Hindi

Cost of the workshop, including food, stay and accommodation


Institutional: 8000



Participant Contribution

We hope that participants would contribute the amount towards workshop expenses, inclusive of all on-site workshop costs: boarding, lodging, food and all the materials used in the workshop. Travel of participants will have to be borne by the organisation/the participants.

Do not let money be an impediment to your application. Need-based partial fee waivers are available. We have a limited number of scholarships so please apply for a waiver if you really need it. Do remember that there may be others who need it more than you. The partial fee waivers will be offered to people from marginalised groups and non-funded social, political or student movements.

Click here to apply.

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