International Women's Day

Maya Krishna Rao, Artist

MUMBAI, March 2 & 3, 2014 - As the world geared up to mark International Women’s Day on March 8th, the prevalence of deep and systemic issues of violence against women around the world remains of crucial concern. To bring attention to these issues, Asia Society India Centre hosted the Mumbai debut of the powerful monologue Walk, theatre artist Maya Krishna Rao's response to the horrific gang rape of December 2012 in Delhi. Walk was created in a few hours as part of the strong and immediate outrage that reverberated across India and the world. Since its inception, Walk has had over 30 performances in offices, schools, colleges, on the streets, and at the 2013 Jaipur Literature Festival. The piece comes from a deeply reflective space, drawing the audience in to think, to reflect, to walk; its content has adapted to fresh events, and it is often improvised during performance.

Maya’s performance spanned the gamut of emotions, as she walked off stage and carried the performance straight to the audience’s tables. The crowd sat and observed, their attention focused solely on Maya’s narration and sweeping gestures. At the conclusion of the performance an interactive discussion with the audience commenced, in which Maya detailed her particular state of mind in this particular rendition of Walk, stating that she felt the performance took on a far more emotionally nuanced tone as it touched upon issues of consent, violence, responsibility and awareness. All in all she held that the goal was to bridge the gap between the audience, in order for issues of women’s safety to be viewed as issues of the community, and the nation as a whole.

Reported by Uditinder Thakur, Programme Assistant, Asia Society India Centre.