Tribeca's New Media Fund Among Backers for Indian Anti-Rape Multimedia Project
'Priya's Shakti' addresses gender based violence via an augmented reality comic book and exhibition
A first of its kind, the multimedia project Priya's Shakti tackles the brutal reality of gender based violence that plagues India.
The project was launched by film-maker and publisher Ram Devineni in the aftermath of the highly-publicized gang rape on a bus in New Delhi in December 2012 that outraged India and the world. Last week, India was again shocked when a woman was allegedly raped by an Uber taxi driver in New Delhi who has been arrested and now faces trial.
Priya's Shakti focuses on Priya - an ardent devotee of the Hindu Goddess Parvati - who is brutally raped and suffers the resulting social stigma and isolation. The Goddess Parvati is horrified to learn about the sexual violence that women on Earth face on a daily basis and is determined to change this disturbing reality. Inspired by the Goddess, Priya breaks her silence and sings a message of women’s empowerment that enraptures thousands and moves them to take action against gender based violence around the world.
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The innovative multi-media project is spearheaded by Devineni's film and publishing outfit Rattapallax based in New York, Sao Paulo and New Delhi. Priya's Shakti is supported by the Tribeca Film Institute’s New Media Fund and the Ford Foundation. Other backers include the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Priya's Shakti artist is Dan Goldman who also works as Second Screen Experience Architect and Transmedia on AMC Television’s Breaking Bad, and other shows.
Central to Priya's Shakti ('shakti' is Hindi for divine energy) is a first of its kind augmented reality comic book and exhibition. The AR comic book includes certain animated panels featuring real-life stories and voices of Indian women who have survived sexual assault and face the ensuing trauma and social stigma. Street artists and Bollywood poster painters were involved to create murals in Mumbai's Dharavi, considered Asia's biggest slum. Once scanned with smartphones, the murals pop out into animation and short films.
A free digital copy of the Priya's Shakti comic book is available for download worldwide while printed copies will be availabe at Comic Con Mumbai that runs December 19-21.