By Maya Palit
There is an Instagram challenge doing the rounds called ’36 days of type’, where illustrators, designers, and visual artists are being invited to create their own letters from the alphabet. And an illustrator and graphic designer named Kruttika Susarla is using this to kickstart a great series, with each letter representing a phenomenon central to explorations of gender, sexuality, and other feminist concerns.
So far, the letters she has drawn are A is for Androgyny, B for Bodily Integrity, C for Continuous Consent, D for Dalit Womanist Paradigm, E for Emancipation, F for Feminisms, G for Gender Performativity, H for (Feminist) History, and I for Intersectionality. Along with each drawing, she’s added a brief explanation of each term. And at the end of each definition, she leaves off with a mic drop summarising why her project is so important even in the times we live in. ‘Because it’s 2017 and marital rape is still not a criminal offence in India’ and ‘Because it’s 2017 and feminism is not a marketing tool to sell your new nude-shade lipstick’ are some of these one-liners.
Here’s what she drew and said about the letter ‘G’:
G for Gender Performativity:
A concept that recognises gender as an elaborate act or performance instead of binary male or female. This was first introduced by Judith Butler(American philosopher) in 1990. Drag is probably one such example that defies gender as a construct.
G for 36 days of Feminist type for this year’s edition of @36daysoftype. Because it’s 2017 and it’s time to put an end to gender based violence and oppression.
H for History:
Feminist history should not be confused with history of feminism (of the movement). This is an important aspect of feminist theory that demands for a critical re-look at history from a cultural and social angle through a feminist lens. The danger of a single narrative is always that it is written by and for the people in power and hence eliminates the realities of minorities. (Alternative facts, anyone?). Feminist history does not merely seek to represent women but also to analyse their influence in shaping what is ‘public history’.
H for 36 days of Feminist type for this year’s edition of @36daysoftype. Because it’s 2017 and our textbooks could use some serious feminist upgrade.