GAURI GILL AT INTERNATIONAL CENTER OF PHOTOGRAPHY
IN HONOR OF INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY AND HEFORSHE ARTS
MARCH 8, 2017
A collaboration between International Center of Photography and UN Women's HeForShe Arts Week
HeForShe is a solidarity movement created by UN Women, which provides a targeted platform to enable men and boys to work towards the achievement of gender equality. Timed to coincide with International Women's Day, HeForShe Arts Week is celebrated annually and globally from March 8th to March 15th, offering an opportunity for arts and cultural institutions worldwide to support the advancement of gender equality.
Balika Mela is the result of an expansive project by Gauri Gill, in which Gill documented female children and adolescents attending a Balika Mela - a fair for girls - organized in 2003 and 2010 by the NGO Urmul Setu Sansthan in the town of Lunkaransar in rural Rajasthan. Between twelve and twenty years old, the girls represented a broad spectrum of communities, castes and denominations. Gill set up a makeshift photo-stall for the girls, to have their portraits taken in black and white, allowing them to choose how and with whom they were photographed. Seven years later, Gill returned to attend another Balika Mela, which included an exhibition of the earlier photographs. Upon request, Gill created another series of portraits, this time in color. These self-conscious, yet playful, portraits denote a collaboration between Gill and her subjects, in which the girls are afforded the agency and freedom to portray themselves, as they are, or as they see themselves, or through new selves invented for the camera.
IN COLLABORATION WITH NATURE MORTE