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Under 25 Summit: What is a man and what is a woman, The Aravani Art Project

  • Aravani Art Project is an effort to enlighten people about the transgender community.
  • Poornima addressed the issue of sexual assault among transgender people.
  • For the victims, she had this advice - be brave while taking a stand and do not be scared of anything or anyone.
Under 25 summit the aravani art project
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What happens when artists dive into deeper questions? You get masterpieces and larger than life eye-opening images, visuals, creations, and artwork. 

 

Poornima Sukumar and her current art project, titled 'Aravani Art Project' is a creation that will capture your thoughts, delight your eyes and make you aware of transgenders and their life.

 

Poornima got the idea for this project when she was working with a London-based filmmaker working on a documentary on transgenders of India. During this three and half year long project she met many people (not adding any sexual identity on purpose), and it was a wonderful experience for her. 

 

But, once the project got over, the natural thought that came to her mind was now what? And, how can I tell the world about these nice people? How to make people meet them? 

 

Poornima wanted to create a path of organic communication between self-proclaimed normal people and transgenders, so she first started by making her friends meet transgenders and it ended up becoming her inspiration to start this project. 

 

She was introduced to the Tamil word Aravani in Puducherry, and it is considered a more dignified word, so for Poornima, Aravani it was. 

 

Interestingly, when the artist started off her parents were unaware of her work until her father came across a news article about Poornima and her work. 

 

This art project is all about creating awareness about the Aravani people. Lack of awareness is one of the main reasons why they are treated differently or coldly by society. 

 

While speaking to Asianet Newsable, Poornima addressed the issue of sexual assault among transgender people. She said that most incidences go unreported due to various types of stigma. 

 

However, transgenders have developed their own methods to deal with the situation. Also, in India, transgenders are either forced into sex work or begging, compelling them to lead a tough life. This has hardened many of them over the years.

 

However, it can also be said that the intensity of sexual assaults among transgenders is equal to what women are also going through in India at present. 

 

Poornima also feels that when we speak about women safety, we should also include transgender women because the suffering, intensity, or frequency of sexual assault is no less for them. 

 

For the victims, she had this advice - be brave while taking a stand and do not be scared of anything or anyone. 

 

At the Under 25 Summit, Poornima had an enlightening conversation with the audience and then allowed the young crowd to choose their way to dress up. 

 

"Accessorise and do not be hesitant to be who you want to be," was the advice given. 

 

The subject of the art project at this summit was 'What is a man, What is a woman and What is transgender? Is it the way one dresses up or the way one feels about themselves?' 

 

The participation was encouraging and the young crowd showed their open mindset by playing with their looks and accessories themselves in any way they liked. 

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