When Art Transcends Pain

insia
Posted May 16, 2017 from India
Art Installation 'Betrayed' on the theme of child sexual abuse
One of my docu shoots in Punjab (1/4)

When Art transcends Pain

-Insia Dariwala, The Hands of Hope Foundation.

There are only two kinds of stories in this world- yours, and mine. Today, I choose to tell mine, because it may compel others to share theirs in return.

I was all of 10, when sexual abuse, forced me to shut out the world around me, and create a new one. This world gave me a chance to live with people I knew couldn't hurt me. People like Tarzan, Phantom, Archie's and Tinkle. Each day, I saw myself as one of the heroes in these stories. This girl was invincible, strong, powerful, and even saved others from injustice. Through this fantasy world, I could navigate the ugliness of reality around me.

As I slowly delved deeper into my imaginary world, I found solace in words, and fictional characters. My imagination became my prep ground for what was to come, and the words and visuals became my best friend. It was no surprise then; I eventually became a Writer/Director, who told stories through her films.

Early on in my career, I used to tell other people's stories, but one fine day, I was confronted by this character hiding inside of me-a little girl, waiting to be comforted, and waiting to be released. She wanted me to rewrite her story. That is how my award winning, debut film 'The Candy Man 'was born.

This film acted as a catharsis for the abused child within me. It was my way of exorcising my demons, and doing what I could not do as a child- making evil pay, and celebrating 'Shakti' in a woman.

Seeing the film's impact on its viewers, I realised I possessed a gift, which could be used to change and better the society we live in. I also realised, the visual medium's power to connect complete strangers, touch their heart, and force them to engage in a dialogue with each other. This enlightenment led to more social films, and two years ago, birthed an organisation called ' The Hands of Hope Foundation'.

The organisation addresses sexual violence on women and children through its flagship program 'Recognise. Prevent . Protect' , which is conducted in schools, slums, and shelters, using custom-designed visual software to educate children, and adults.

Another milestone that strengthened my belief in the visual medium was an art installation we put up last year, at the prestigious Kala Ghoda Art festival in Mumbai, on the theme of child sexual abuse. The installation called 'Betrayed', and visited by around a 1, 00,000 people triggered, what would have otherwise been a difficult dialogue. Moreover, it also gave me an opportunity to create awareness with many children and adults, on the issue of sexual abuse.

Sahiyo, another organisation I co-founded, also uses the medium of stories, and films to break the silence around Female Genital Cutting (FGM/C) in India.

Today, I know that no matter how dark the world gets around me, I will always be able to illuminate it with my imagination, with my stories, and with my films. Hope will always triumph pain.

This story was submitted in response to Art for Action.

Comments 8

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Jill Langhus
May 17, 2017
May 17, 2017

Hi Insia. Welcome to World Pulse:-) Thanks for sharing your sad story of redemption as well as your awesome debut film. Can you tell me what your website and social media pages are for your foundation as well as Sahiyo, so I can follow them and others on here can find them? I'm looking forward to hearing more about your story and work.

Also, have you connected with Vaishnavi Sundar on World Pulse? She is also another Indian film maker. Her website is: http://www.wmfindia.com/.

insia
May 17, 2017
May 17, 2017

Dear Jlanghus, (am sorry I could not find your first name, but would like to know it. )

Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. Yes, what happened was sad, but I choose to focus on how that helped me 'become'.

Also thanks for sharing Vaishnavi's info. I have not heard of Vaishnavi but will surely visit her page. 

Here are links to my pages-

https://www.facebook.com/SahiyoBohras/?fref=ts

https://www.facebook.com/thehandsofhopefoundation/?fref=ts

https://www.facebook.com/insia.dariwala?fref=ts

Warmest Regards,

Insia

Jill Langhus
May 17, 2017
May 17, 2017

Hi there:) You're welcome. Yes, of course. It's also important to heal your wounds, too, though, so I hope you have done that as well. This is her WP profile, if you would like to connect: https://www.worldpulse.com/en/community/users/vaishnavi-sundarThanks for the links. I will "like" them:) Have a great day.

insia
May 18, 2017
May 18, 2017

True, and the healing is an ongoing process for sure. Thank you for the facebook and Linkedin connection too :)

Jill Langhus
May 19, 2017
May 19, 2017

It sure is:) I can relate. Let me know if you would like any suggestions. I've done/tried quite a few different modalities. You're welcome:-) Have a great day.

gktt
May 18, 2017
May 18, 2017

Hi Insia,

Thank you for your story. It is empowering to think of what you have accomplished and continue to do. You are doing a great job! The way you are communicating to people through these different initiatives is great. Standing with you in the great purpose and plan to encourage and triumph, 

Warmest wishes,

Grace

insia
May 18, 2017
May 18, 2017

Dear Grace,

I thank you for the support and solidarity you have extended. I believe change does not happen in isolation and neither does it happen through any one person. We are all connected,a nd only our collective efforts will bring about a global change. It is wonderful to connect with all you lovely women out here. Thanks again.

Grace Amiola
May 31, 2017
May 31, 2017

Hello Insia,

Well-done. Thanks for using your stories to encourage and create a new life for others.

Visuals are powerful and I'm glad you are using the power in them.

Cheers.