Zubaan Event

The Zubaan Poster Women Exhibition is an initiative that seeks to document the rich and multi-layered history of the contemporary women’s movement in India. Since the early 1970s, the period that gave rise to the contemporary women’s movement in India, the poster has played a crucial part in highlighting women’s issues.

Many of the feminist organizations were born at this time: they grew out of Left and peasant movements; out of the student movements led by Jaiprakash Narayan; and out of the politicisation of universities. Much of this history of activism, of organizing and mobilizing, of the euphoria of the early days of activism, has been lost to the movement because organizations, particularly activist ones, are rarely able to archive and document their own histories. Virtually every campaign has been marked by the production of vivid, sometimes colourful, always eye-catching posters.

Today, Zubaan attempts to retrieve this valuable archive, to showcase it and in doing so, to present a selection of posters that demonstrate an alternative aesthetics and politics, posters that throw light on the movement. Collaborating with 200 plus groups, organisations and individuals, and over 1200+ posters etc have been collected from all over the country. Zubaan is an independent feminist publishing house based in New Delhi, India, with a strong academic and general list. Urvashi Butalia as an imprint of Kali set it up for Women. Zubaan is a non-profit publisher, working in the areas of the humanities, social sciences, as well as in fiction, general non-fiction, and books for young adults that celebrate difference, diversity and equality, especially for and about the children of India and South Asia under its imprint Young Zubaan.

One of the most vibrant and dynamic of movements, the women’s movement in India has produced hundred of wonderful, colourful images and messages to support the many causes it has taken up – violence against women, rape, dowry, gender sensitive laws, widow immolation, Dalit Women’s rights, sexual rights, literacy, education, health services, the right to food, information, shelter, housing, political participation etc. As with all Zubaan projects (and following in the tradition of our mother organization, Kali for Women) they have published a book of posters called Poster Women as a part of the effort to create a permanent archive. In putting together this exhibition, the book, the entire archive, we hope not only to document and possibly preserve a different history of the movement, but also to address the new and important question of using visual sources as ways of understanding history.
The Poster Women exhibition has travelled from New Delhi to Berlin, Bonn, Frankfurt, Bangalore, Baroda, Chandigarh, Guwahati, Shillong and Lucknow. Siyahi brings this exhibition to Jaipur, from the 27th July – 10th August, 2007 at the Sukriti and Surekh galleries at Jawahar Kala Kendra and will be inaugurated by Ms Aruna Roy on the 27th of July at 5 p.m.