Bhargavi Joshi is an Indian-Canadian fine art photographer who communicates her worldviews through the lens. In the series named Printied Violation, she decided to open discourse about sexism and the treatment of women on a global scale in a visual way. Travelling between the disparate cities of Mumbai, Los Angeles and Toronto, the artist felt it pertinent to address the subject of gender injustice in a way that would speak to all women.
Each photograph refers to a different form of oppression – the unifying theme being that the woman is always the subject. It was Joshi’s objective to inspire dialogue between people about this widespread problem – that even though there are regions of the world where gender equality has come a long way, other parts remain a disaster area for femininity.
The women of Printied Violation are all clad in white because the concept of purity plays an integral role in the historical treatment of women. It refers to the value of virginity and the perceived depreciation women are subjected to once they lose it. The photographer portrays the way women are held hostage by the concept of celibacy.
According to the photographer, “The black paint and ribbon represent how the very same cultures that hold women hostage to purity standards, completely disregard the pain and suffering our society inflicts upon them.”
Each woman is painted white so that their skin reflects the fragility of porcelain. It was Joshi’s desire to remove the distinct features of each subject, a reduction in identity itself, thereby speaking about one woman and all women throughout the series.
“We want these images to start the conversation that society avoids. We hope it will inspire people to take action against the injustice, help victims get help and educate men and women so we may prevent them from happening in the future. Each image will hold a different truth to each viewer, reflecting his/her own truth and experiences,” writes Joshi.