Bandra’s street art brings colour back to the writing on the wall

Laadli’s girl child campaign is the talk of the town of Mumbai, thanks to some cool and thought provoking new street art in Bandra.


Bandra has suddenly become the place to go to for me. Thanks to a combination of work and a friend moving to this area, I have made more trips to Bandra in the last month than in all the 21 years I have lived in Mumbai !

The visits to Bandra have also been more relaxed and I’ve had a great time walking and discovering interesting facets of this beautiful and charming suburb of my city. Take Bandra’s graffiti or street art for instance—I’ve been aware of them, read about them in newspapers, seen a few in passing, but never really stopped to have a look at them.

Until a couple of weeks ago, when I came across a series of them painted on the compound wall of St. Peter’s Church on Hill Road. This time I stopped. I looked. I read. I photographed. And now I’m sharing the best of them with you.

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All the images I saw were on the theme of falling sex ratio and gender selection in India and part of a campaign initiated by Population First on the girl child called “Laadli”. According to information given on the campaign’s website, this is “a means of creating mass awareness and raising public conscience against the reprehensible practice of sex selection”. One might wonder, why such a campaign is being run in posh Bandra, in Mumbai even? Till you read what the campaign website has this to say:

The commercial capital of the country – Mumbai – has a sex ratio of 898.

The artwork has used nursery rhymes, clichéd perceptions of women, images, captions, and even games to get the message across. It is said and believed that pictures speak louder than words; I can’t think of a better example than the art I saw that day.

Nursery rhymes

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That cliched image of the multi-tasking woman

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Noughts and Crosses in a new avatar!

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Slogan and captions

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No captions needed here

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The ambulance warning

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My favourite image is the one of Ardhanareeshwar or the “half-man, half-woman” form of Shiva (see the photograph below). If you look at the picture, you will see that the male portion is not exactly half; it is more than half and is a reflection of the skewed sex ratio in India.

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Visual art in a public location is a powerful tool of communication and the Laadli campaign has used it brilliantly and effectively. Both the conceptualisation and its execution are fantastic and the mix of images, captions and clichés work wonderfully to get the message across and reiterate it over and over again. The artwork is simple, gritty and powerful and I wish I could meet the artist(s) behind the images.

The next time you’re in Bandra, do make your way to Hill Road to see these fantastic works of art.

Republished from the That and This in Mumbai Blog. Click here for the original article.


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