- Sudeshna Sengupta
Areet Roychowdhury, Class 12 student of St. Xavier's Collegiate School, Kolkata, has been an avid photographer from the age of 10. He had always hoped to use the medium of photography to bring about social change through awareness campaigns on equality.
The first project presented by by him was a photography exhibition held on August 5, 2017 at ICCR, Kolkata. His photographs have been used as a vehicle to focus on the issue of safety of women and create awareness about gender bias and how it leads to eve-teasing
and various forms of domestic violence. In the larger perspective this Project Unsafe, strives to focus on the need to change attitudes towards women, by which they feel safer and unexploited everywhere. Areet has chosen his subjects from an interesting array of women of Kolkata who symbolizes strength and individuality above everything else. Notable women include Aparna Sen, Alokananda Chakladar, Dolly Basu, Nayantara Palchowdhury, Oyndrilla Dutta among others.
It is also interesting to note that some of his photographs focus on simple acts of daily life in which the women feel exploited and unclean. Moments of being brushed against in a public transport, a sudden movement in a lift leading to uncalled for physical contact or a simple exchange of notes that leads to unnecessary physical touch. Areet has his friends from his school and theatre group posing for many of his photographs. Some of the photographs depict the survivors and inmates of Apne Aap Women Worldwide to help us understand the deep rooted problem of sex trafficking as well.
The photography exhibition was spearheaded by Malika Verma and was inaugurated by Aparna Sen. Areet parents hope to take this exhibition across schools in Kolkata to encourage young people to reflect on this growing social menace and contribute positively to bring about a change in the attitude that boys and men have towards women in our vastly diverse Indian social milieu.