Indian Women Speak Out Against Rape Through Illustration

Indian Women Speak Out Against Rape Through Illustration

The 'Fearless' poster collective is a powerful series that conveys feelings many women aren't allowed to speak about

Tiffany Nesbit
  • 24 july 2014

A sixteen-year-old American girl made headlines this week when she began speaking out against her recent rape, but in many other countries, women aren’t allowed to talk about things like rape. In 2012, for example, a 23-year-old woman was gang raped and beaten by six men while traveling on a bus. Her injuries were so bad that she died a few days later while undergoing treatment. The case sparked worldwide media coverage and protests all over India, also resulting in many new laws passed that were designed to help and protect women. It also inspired the “Fearless” collection.

“Fearless” is an illustrated series initially started by Shilo Shiv Suleman that allows women to express issues of rape and misogyny. Suleman created the first poster and many Indian artists have created the subsequent ones. In the series, empowering images of women are depicted, often with strong slogans, like ‘I am Shakti,’ the Hindu goddess. Suleman says the collection was started to encourage the global community to speak out and make the world a safer place for women.


Recently, Suleman teamed up with the Kitsch Mandi neighborhood art festival to post 200 “Fearless” posters all over Bangalore, but hopefully the movement will continue to spread. The poster collective offers a unique way for women in patriarchal societies to have a means to express their feelings on rape culture. “Fearless” posters affirm fearless femininity and demand that women be able to go out at night, take public transportation, and wear what they want without fear of rape, a freedom every person everywhere should be rendered.

To see more “Fearless” images, visit Suleman’s Facebook page here.


[h/t] Design TAXI


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