Sonal Motla Pays A Tribute To Frida Kahlo And Indian Women On International Women's Day 2024

Sonal Motla Pays A Tribute To Frida Kahlo And Indian Women On International Women's Day 2024

Like Frida, Indian women have faced numerous challenges throughout history, from social and cultural constraints to gender-based discrimination

Sonal MotlaUpdated: Friday, March 01, 2024, 07:18 PM IST
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As I contemplate the upcoming International Women’s Day and the project I am working on, under the auspices of the Mexican consulate in India and an Artisan Fund NGO, of which I am a proud advisor, I cannot help but draw parallels between the indomitable spirit of Frida Kahlo and the resilience of Indian women. The fusion of Indian and Mexican crafts and aesthetics for this event resonates deeply with me, igniting a spark of excitement to collaborate with my fine art students in my favourite realm of art, craft, design, and aesthetics.

Frida Kahlo’s unwavering commitment to authenticity and her ability to transform adversity into art are qualities that resonate deeply with Indian women. Like Frida, Indian women have faced numerous challenges throughout history, from social and cultural constraints to economic hardships and gender-based discrimination. Yet, despite these obstacles, they have continued to defy expectations and carve out their own paths.

Frida’s intensity and resilience serve as a guiding light for women everywhere, just as Indian women have been beacons of strength and courage in their communities for centuries. Whether it is the rural farmer toiling in the fields or the urban professional breaking barriers in the corporate world, Indian women embody the same spirit of resilience and determination that Frida Kahlo exemplified.

In our project, we seek to honour both Frida Kahlo’s legacy and the resilience of Indian women by infusing our designs with a similar sense of boldness and authenticity. With the guiding principle of inclusion, the students have decided to showcase a diverse array of crafts, including Madhubani, Warli, and others, juxtaposed and rearranged in a contemporary design context. Aim is to celebrate not only the rich cultural heritage of India and Mexico but also the universal strength and resilience of women everywhere.

In a departure from conventional fashion shows, we have opted to have ordinary people, rather than professional models, showcase our creations. This decision underscores our belief that beauty and strength come in all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds – a sentiment that resonates deeply with both Frida Kahlo’s legacy and the experiences of Indian women.

As we prepare for the event, Frida’s spirit infuses every aspect of our work. Her bold use of colour, intricate embroidery, and distinctive style serve as guiding principles in our design process. But more than that, her fearlessness in the face of adversity serves as a constant reminder of the power of resilience and determination – qualities that Indian women possess in abundance.

On the day of the event, as we showcase our creations to the world, I cannot help but feel a sense of pride and gratitude. Each garment tells a story – of triumph over adversity, of courage in the face of fear, of beauty in all its forms. And as the audience looks on, captivated by the spectacle before them, I know that we have succeeded in our mission to celebrate the strength and resilience of women everywhere – both in Mexico and India.

In honouring Frida Kahlo and Indian women, we honor not just one woman or one culture, but the countless women who have come before us, paving the way for future generations to thrive. Their legacies serve as a reminder that true empowerment comes from within, and that by embracing our authentic selves, we can overcome any obstacle that stands in our way. As we celebrate International Women’s Day, let us take inspiration from Frida Kahlo and Indian women alike, and let us continue to work towards a world where every woman has the opportunity to shine.

I'm reminded of the words of my favourite Maya Angelou, who once said, “Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.”

These words resonate deeply with our project, as we strive to empower women to stand up for themselves and each other, celebrating their strength and resilience in the face of adversity. For in honouring the strength and resilience of women everywhere, we honor the very essence of humanity itself.

(Sonal Motla is an art curator and Director at Rachna Sansad and a visiting faculty with educational institutions like NIFT Mumbai, among others. Send your feedback to: sonal25fpj@gmail.com)

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