Artists who bring sexual and domestic violence to light take on a huge responsibility. Sometimes this type of work can go sideways, missing the mark. But not Bhargavi Joshi’s. The Indian-Canadian photographer has created a powerful series called Printied Violation, which highlights the injustice, oppression and violence that women around the world face daily. The stark reality is, these women could be in your yoga class, office or book club.
Nine images featuring nine different women make up the series, each one telling a different story. The images are strikingly beautiful, albeit heartbreaking. But that’s the point, really: these conversations need to happen, regardless of how uncomfortable they may be.
“We need all the help we can get to spread awareness and help women in need,” Joshi said.
In order to remove stigma around race, age, wealth, education or culture, Joshi coated each woman in white paint, and used black paint or ribbon to mark the spot where the woman was violated—a hand print on a pregnant belly; ankles bound together; a hand print over a breast, throat.
“The images were shot and designed the way you see them,” Joshi said, meaning that just minor retouching was done to the women’s skin in order to make them look like fragile porcelain dolls.
The clothes on each subject were made from white medical gauze, a nod to the bandages that hide and heal the wounds, but also, commentary on covering up the violence.
If anything is going to go viral on the internet this week, we seriously hope it’s Joshi’s profound photo series. The conversation has to start somewhere, so why not here and now.