An artist from Tripunithura, Kochi has taken up a 100 day social experiment, in which, she dabs herself in black paint and wears contrasting bright coloured clothes.
Walking on the roads, she is stared by several passersby. While some believe she is crazy, others pity her and assume it to be some medical condition. Some curious minds even walk up to her to know the story behind.
On January 26, after the suicide of Rohit Vermula, a research scholar in Hyderabad University, the Kerala artist, P.S. Jaya, began this experiment; she embarked upon a 100-day journey, which involves covering herself with soot-black kajal before stepping out of her home.
A national daily has quoted her saying, “Being an artist, I am making myself a medium to convey my thoughts. Rohith’s suicide was an open evidence of how the Dalits continue to face danger in society. History is getting repeated for those who are in the lower caste strata. The whole issue of untouchability is seeing new dimensions and people are getting discriminated against their caste, colour and creed”.
Also, she wants to experience the feeling of being ‘dark’ or black in a nation obsessed with fairness.
Sharing her thoughts with a publication, she said, “Why can’t the focus be on the individual who exists underneath the skin colour, caste, religion, race or gender?”
“Hopefully, I’m able to break away from the cliché that beauty lies in fairness”, she added.
On March 8, International Women’s day, she went out, wearing LED lights in order to fight the societal norm that expects women to not go out after a certain time.
Besides, she is also designing a calendar that will focus entirely on Dalits.
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Scroll the slides ahead to figure out who this artist is, and why she is she undergoing this experiment-