The Disappearing Room
This project talks about the domestic violence and abuse that is rampant in India.
- Sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife, if the wife is under 15 years of age, is not rape.
- There are no criminal penalties for marital rape if the wife is over 15 years.
- 1 in 5 married women experience domestic violence
- 2/3 of married women have experienced domestic violence, rape, assault or emotional abuse
In India, arranged marriages are the norm, and women are treated like second-class citizens, presumed to only have two primary purposes - sex and procreation.
My biggest fear is to be married off and tied to a man that is abusive - physically or emotionally, with no way out. This project is a projection of my fears, and a need to illustrate the situation many women suffer through.
Statistics show that 2/3 of married women have experienced domestic violence, rape, assault or emotional abuse. Girls as young as 9 years old are being married off to men thrice their age, and the concept of marital rape for girls over 15 years of age doesn't exist. In marriage, there apparently is no such thing as rape or consent. These facts are terrifying and absolutely horrible.
To explain this situation I built a room, that was about 6ft x 6ft. From the outside, the room is white, therefore merges into the walls, to show that women are ignored and essentially invisible. The inside of the room is a huge contrast, with hot, red floodlights illuminating the space. It is also small so that some part of the body of the viewer is forced to graze against the walls, which has latex painted in some areas causing most people to cringe away, due to the uncomfortable sensation of latex against skin. The inside walls are made of deep maroon silk fabric, with red text screen printed.
The text is printed to fade in and out so that it is not fully legible, and only certain parts are highlighted at any point in time. The text itself is procured from several law papers about marriage in India, stating the rules and statistics related to abuse, meant to emphasize the horrible, brutal truth.