Blank Noise is a community that seeks to confront Street Harrasment in India. Initiated in 2003 as a Public Art Project in Banglore by Jasmine Patheja has now spread across the globe. The core team is a non gender based volunteers that seek to trigger public dialogue on the social issue of Street Harresment. The collective disperses conversations in public on “eve- teasing” and defines the boundaries of street sexual violence, hence creating a public debate on the same.
Blank Noise ask women, who have a strained relationship with their city, to be ‘Action-Heroes’ (their volunteers) via direct street action and interventions. They are reffered to as ‘Blank Noise Guys’. Starting from Banglore, the community has managed to spread out to major cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Calcutta, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, and Lucknow. The public agenda hopes to achieve a safe and congenial environment for women fighting against sexual harrasement, eve- teasing, body shaming, and other humiliating actions. It was after “Nirbhaya case”, gang rape of a girl in a moving bus in Delhi, in December 2012 that Blank Noise started a movement called ‘Safe City Pledge’. The community has used various modes to reach out to public, such as spray painting messages, recording the testimonies of victims of sexual harassment in public places, staged demonstrations, and printing tee shirts with anti-harassment messages on them.
Blank Noise performs street plays in busy markets to spread their message as well as to get support from the common people as volunteers. One such play was ‘Some more Noise’ which was performed on city streets. Blank Noise also makes Open Call for volunteers to engange in their ‘Action Plans’ project which are action packed marches.
Blank Noise is a shout out to all those women who are living in fear of city’s rowdy environmental hassle.
There is a connection, hard to explain logically but easy to feel, between achievement in public life and progress in the arts.
John F. Kennedy