New Mobilizing Tool Against an Old Outrage

Blank Noise Project: Blank – that which is not allowed meaning, form or articulation. Noise – that which heightens, builds itself.

With those poetic words, young women in major metropolitan cities in India are taking on an old scourge eve teasing.

What started as a student project in Bangalore first morphed into a socially conscious public art project in the same city. Soon afterwards, probably due to the nature of the menace it was trying to address, it seems to have taken a life of its own. Similar projects have sprung up in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, and Chandigarh. Young women are meeting not only to console and commiserate with each other, but also to participate in public collective actions.

So, how did a single-person attempt in Bangalore become a nation-wide project attracting international attention? Over the internet, through the medium of blogging. But, of course!

The project has a blogspot blog at The blog serves multiple roles and is the core of the project. It is a bill board for promoting the cause, a tool for mobilizing across the country, a newspaper with the latest news, and a bulletin board for sharing information. As true cyber citizens, their action to commemorate the International Women’s Day this year was to start a blog-a-thon (a multi-blogger or multi-postings marathon that writes on and thus promotes a single topic) on the topic of eve teasing and how it is an unacceptable sexual crime.

And, in one of the more ingenious uses of the internet technology that I have come across, the blog hosts occasional pictures called the “Unwanted” in a very public gallery of shame. Using their cameras as a weapon of self-defense, the women catch the eve-teasers in action and post the photos online. This “reverses the position of power with one click” and is reported to be very effective.

Not to say that this is the perfect site or internet-enabled project ever. The design, layout, page categorization, and archives can do with some improvements. There are a few comments from people who are still waiting for replies from the project team. However, even with all that, this is one impressive example of how the internet is not only creating virtual communities of action, but also enabling and empowering them as never before.

For your clicking pleasure:

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