Loss of Identity
ceramics (cone 9 reduction)
What is the identity of a woman? Is it her gender, societal expectations, religion, caste, language, country of birth, or political leanings? Identity establishes a person’s uniqueness within a society. Society is a group of people with whom one interacts in everyday life. And self-identity is what makes society regard someone as an individual.
My work is on the crisis of women’s identity and originally it was inspired by the conditions of women forced by their society to live behind a veil. The works were sympathetic to women who had to cover their face in public and in different social contexts. Later I realized the reason for the identity crisis was not the veil but the oppression. Women living in a male-dominated society face identity crises when there is no one to listen to them, no way to express themselves, and no social conventions to protect them against the onslaught of oppression. It’s present in societies irrespective of whether women hide their face behind a veil or not, Oppression makes women suffer, but what makes them vulnerable is the absence of the social practice of listening to them. An oppressed woman without social justice is a biological entity without stature in society.
In my work, I reveal the helplessness of oppressed women that ultimately results in their loss of identity as respected human beings in society. It may be difficult for the viewer to grasp the depth of these issues. In the west, women fight for equal rights with men. However, in other places of world, women fight for simple basic human rights of women, the belief that women are human beings and must be treated so by other human beings.
© Anindita Dutta