Dalit Diva

Lives in Brooklyn, NY. Working in India.    

Project Description: #DALITWOMENFIGHT is a transmedia art project that exposes the issue at the core of India’s rape crisis: caste-based sexual violence. The heart of the project is her collaboration with All Indian Dalit Women's Rights Forum's and its historic Dalit Women’s Self-Respect March which is based on the historic activism of India's great Dalit Leader Dr. Ambedkar, the Freedom Rides into the American South during the 1960s, and the Take Back the Night marches of the women’s movement, which began in the 1970s in cities around the world. From 2014 to 2016 Dalit women will caravan across India and the world.  At each stop, they will comfort survivors, confront perpetrators, and stage mass protests. Ultimately, the project will be documented with art inspired by the movement, and at the same time it will create opportunities for movement art events to provide an unprecedented look into the lives of Dalit women, while exposing India’s culture of impunity among perpetrators and public officials.

Update: In the first year of her fellowship, Thenmozhi’s launched a massive ten-city solidarity tour, which ran from September through October, 2015, and included a wide range of events attended by over 10,000 people. Over the course of the next year, Thenmozhi will turn her attention to completing the feature length film #DalitWomenFight. Thenmozhi’s work was also featured in The Guardian, Refinery29NBC, and Democracy Now!.

Bio: Thenmozhi Soundararajan is a filmmaker and transmedia artist who uses song and narrative to tell the stories of marginalized communities through film, games, comics, and more. Her work has been recognized by the Producers Guild of America, MOCA, Chicken and Egg Fund, The Magnum Foundation, The Annenberg Innovation Center, MIT Center for New Media Studies, The Sorbonne, Source Magazine, The National Center for the Humanities, The National Science Foundation, and The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

You can follow Dalit Diva’s work here.

Thenmozhi Soundararajan

Video interview with 2015 Artist as Activist Fellow Thenmozhi Soundararajan