Prarthna Singh challenges the western idea of women in India

The Mumbai-based photographer explains how she’s found freedom through meeting and documenting empowering women.

8 December 2020


At November’s Nicer Tuesdays we welcomed the one and only Prarthna Singh to kick off the evening’s events. Dialling in from Mumbai, India, for her inspirational creative talk, Prarthna took our eager-eared audience through her empowering work championing women at its core. Her ongoing series Champion was the main subject of the talk, a series six years in the making taking her to locations far and wide across the country. An investigative exploration into female strength, the project shines a light on what it means to be a woman in India today, focusing on those who challenge stereotypical gender norms of what the West understands as female Indian identity.

Prarthna took us through the powerful portraits from the series and, in turn, the powerful stories that occupy Champions. She spoke of her time in the northern state of Haryana where she met and photographed a group of female wrestlers. “These women are champions in their own way, they are challenging the patriarchy every day,” she went on to say. Subsequently, she touched on topics of bureaucracy, patriotism, portrait etiquette and more; which all had a part to play in the making of the series. Prarthna rounded up her talk with some questions from the audience: Why black and white? How do you work collaboratively with your subjects? Watch the talk above to find out more.

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Nicer Tuesdays is our monthly event of creative talks. You can find out more here.

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