It had what all fashion shoots would necessarily require-hot and stylish male and female models, glamour and high-end designer wear. But interestingly or not it also had something which most photographers would prefer giving a miss, an insensitive theme.
Outrageous, insensitive, gruesome, inhuman, words which would certainly us of the horrific gangrape of ‘Nirbhaya’ in a moving bus in capital New Delhi on December 16.
Raj Shetye’s voguish fashion shoot ‘The Wrong Turn’ on a bus sparked a controversy after photographs of the same were recently posted on website Behance. Shetye’s shoot, which seems to be a recreation of the ghastly gangrape of the paramedic student, compelled people to take Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms to express their outrage over what some Twitteratis term as a ‘disgusting, insensitive’ way to glorify an intolerable act like rape.
The sequence of photographs depict a lone female model trying to free herself from the clutches of two male models, in other she is lying on the seat of the bus with male models almost superseding her and in yet another, she is pinned to the floor of the bus, lying between the legs of a male model without pants. Now how would anyone react to that! In what seems to be an attempt by the photographer to do something out-of-the-box, he simply ends up trivializing the gangrape.
Thousands across the nation took to the streets to protest against what has been the most gruesome act of rape, one which forced our Executive to change laws and even form new legislations on crime against women. This ‘fashion-spread’ has insulted the pain that the entire country underwent while ‘Nirbhaya’ was struggling with her life at a hospital in Singapore.
What is extremely appalling is the way the entire shoot is so glammed up! Although the photographer claims that the shoot was done to throw light on the pressing issue of rape and not for commercial gain, still the glamorizing of the excruciating act does not go down well with me.
If the series was meant to ‘raise awareness’, I really don’t think it required the girls to doll up in outfits made by top designers! Mr. Raj sure enough has the artistic freedom to express what he wishes to via his work, but this certainly is unjustifiable. Creative freedom does not give one the license to belittle any tragic incident.
By: Mugdha Kapoor