Youth from our Young Women’s Leadership Program recently visited an art gallery in Chelsea, to view an exhibit by Brooklyn-based artist Chitra Ganesh. Below, one of these young women shared her experience:
“On Saturday, October 6th, my peers and I went to the art exhibition Chitra Ganesh: Her garden, a mirror on view at The Kitchen gallery in Chelsea. The room itself was dark, which gave off a spooky feeling. We looked at all of the drawings and videos that were playing. The works on display included prints, sculpture, and video, and while there were no descriptions given for each piece, they engaged art historical and literary sources to further reimagine the roles of the individual and the collective during periods of societal turbulence. We were each given little newspapers, which had the story that the whole exhibit was based on.
At first I thought the drawings were just random drawings. But when I started looking at the pieces from left to right, I saw that the drawings in the art gallery had a story beneath them that represented women’s empowerment. The pictures signified gender roles in society and how many think women are supposed to be the ones in the zenanas and kitchen. In the pictures, the girls were gathering knowledge for a better and brighter future - however you could see men above them laughing at their dreams and ideas. As the drawings went on, the girls were all together and sharing their thoughts about how the world works. And then there was a revolution where the women overthrew the men. In the next picture, you could see women flourishing on their own - inventing new technologies and things without the help of any men. The drawings presented how women can create a better and more improved society by themselves, while also telling the story about a girl dreaming of a more advanced and better world where there are only women. She leads the women into her house and shows the advanced and creative inventions other women have made: they protect people from natural disasters or any invasions, use sunlight and heat to drive their enemies away, and more. The story showed that women don’t actually need strength or men to protect them - their brains are enough.”