Photographs of women from India who are driving positive social change across the country have been captured through an exhibition that seeks to showcase the ‘invisible’ faces.
Captured by American photographer Mick Minard the exhibition titled "The Poetry of Purpose: A Portrait of Women Leaders of India" curated by Alka Pande is scheduled to be on view at the India Habitat Centre here from March 25-March 31.
The event is also set to be marked by the release of a book of the same name by Shashi Gogate, a medical practitioner based in the US which Minard has co-authored.
The exhibition and the book features names such as the daughter of Gujarat Chief Minister, Anar Patel, who has co founded Gramshree and Manav Sadhna, NGOs that works for artisans and women. Other names included are that of Jagmati Sangwan the Gen Secretary of the AIl India Democratic Women’s Association and a former volleyball player besides film director Madhureeta Anand and Razia, a social health activist among many others.
The primary collection of photographs in the show are of women across India who "often in the face of their own social, political, familial and economic challenges – are scaling the heights of human spirit, and improving the lives of ordinary people in extraordinary ways," says Minard.
The exhibition contains a selection of photographs from the thousands of those clicked by Minard during her visits to "transit camps in Mumbai to the slums in Lucknow to the farm fields of Alwar and the ball fields of Rohtak."
Exhibition curator Alka Pande says, "The exhibition, and the accompanying book, look at Indian women through a completely different and unique lens and will go a long way in providing visibility to women leaders who are helming ground-breaking work and helping to shape India’s future."
Says Mick Minard about the exhibition and their new book, "We live in an era in which inequality, gender violence and social injustice are on the rise… Our aim in shining a light on these women, and their stories."
After homing in on the 15 women to be featured in the exhibition, it took Minard and Gogate two years to finish their research, which included five weeks of fieldwork in January 2013 and April 2014 and another year to complete the book.
"In support of each woman’s pursuit of a meaningful life, however they define it, Mick and I have set out to reveal to the world 15 of India’s women leaders who are transforming lives and accelerating peace and prosperity in their communities, but whose influence has yet to be communicated on a large scale," says Shashi Gogate.