Mannequins (1997)

Our first nascent step into full time activism began with Mannequins : Sell a Woman, Buy a body. This production focuses on prostitution, on patriarchal orientation that creates the need for prostitution and the victimisation of the group that occurs in society especially after the outbreak of HIV. The script focussed on both the kotha (brothel) in a ‘red light area’ and the upper middle class ‘call girl racket’. Through the lower class plot the project focuses on related themes of child prostitution, of commodification of the woman and of a life bonded to violence, violation and disease. The other plot focuses on themes of ignorance, deceit - here too the element of victimisation was stressed by showing a woman seeking to assert her sexuality and ending up, inexorably, in a no-win situation. The play was subsequently picked by NACO for spreading AIDS - awareness in colleges. With this also began the establishment of a network of women activists. We interacted with Elizabeth Vatsayan (AAG), Ms. Virdi, Dr. Promila Kapur and members of AIWC. Fruitful associations, interaction with whom continues.

Direction: Sanjay Kumar

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