मुझे कुछ केहना है / I want to say something’ is a participatory media campaign toward the prevention of sexual violence. Currently based across three rural districts in Madhya Pradesh, the campaign is a collaboration between maraa and Jan Sahas. By equipping adolescent girls and women with audio-visual-storytelling tools, the campaign seeks to foreground their experiences of sexual violence, in their own voice, language and dialect.
Responses emerging in the aftermath of an ‘act’ of sexual violence have the tendency to view the same in isolation of political and social contexts that shape cultures of violence. Whilst legal and political apparatuses need to be held accountable, made sensitive and responsible, any conversation on prevention is incomplete without taking into account socio-cultural norms, attitudes, traditions and behaviours that contribute to sexual violence. These include lack of awareness/access to information regarding bodily health and sexual rights ; access to sexual health; lack of open conversations around desire, sexuality, gender; rigid gender constructions, restrictions on mobility and education, compulsion of marriage and lack of choice due to various socio-economic conditions.
‘मुझे कुछ केहना है’aims to initiate a discussion on these issues and their inter-linkages with forms of caste, class and religious discrimination. Such a campaign also hopes to counter the the influence of mainstream media which systematically silences marginalised voices and ignores the complexity of their experiences. This is crucial to broadening our understanding and deepening our engagement with and response to sexual violence.