Critical design, Installation, Essay Writing

Exploring design as a method of inquiry, my investigation into gender socialization and discrimination revealed the profound political nature of food and its material implications for gender roles. Choosing to scrutinize the seemingly mundane aspect of 'food,' particularly the Indian flatbread known as Roti, I unravelled its symbolic connection to women in a patriarchal society. Through various conceptual explorations, my critical design experiments delve into the intricate interplay of food, gender inequality, and societal expectations. Rooted in fiction and speculation, these experiments aim to challenge assumptions, sparking debates on respect, equality, autonomy, and freedom within the Indian context of middle-class, patriarchal lifestyles.
The following projects were done as a part of the MA Thesis project during my studies at ZHdK in Zurich.
Image of the flatbread Roti being cut and burnt
Hey Woman, Are You A RotiIt is an essay within the same concept, elaborating on the metaphorical connection between Roti and a woman, and laying bare aspects of gender discrimination that hide underneath the bright and cheerful facade of food culture. The essay has been published in Futuress.
Installation art with food about gender roles
The installation symbolizes women's sacrificial role in preserving Indian food traditions. A large disk of food, placed on the ground instead of a table, evokes traditional floor dining. Visitors first encounter the aroma of India's Chotanagpur region cuisine, but the petri-dish presentation suggests a critical view of food's cultural significance.
Ceramic plate that looks like a dried up Roti
The Roti Plate
A ceramic piece resembling Roti serves as a symbolic provocation. Its unique design sparks curiosity, and upon inspection, reveals a poem challenging the perception of women as a daily commodity. Inspired by a dried-up Roti, the plate's colour mimics the original. During a family gathering in India, it emerged as an artistic centrepiece on the table sparking discussions around the topic.
Screenshot of a tutorial on how to make a roti
How To Make A Roti
It is a satirical video, disguised as a Roti-making tutorial, that cleverly critiques the gender socialization of women in India. Employing visual, audio, and subtitled elements, the video ostensibly teaches Roti preparation while its subtitles diverge into instructing on societal expectations for women. This subversive approach challenges cultural norms, using the mundane act of making Roti unveil the deeper issue of women's socialization.

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Thank you for exploring my portfolio! If you enjoyed my work and have ideas to share or a project in mind, write to me! Or if you have been thinking of trying winter swimming, I am the one you want to ask ;) So let’s go!