By Sharanya Gopinathan
Shade Card is a new project, illustrated by Tara Anand and captioned with poetry by Anoushka Agarwal, that explores colourism in South Asia, and how it affects women.
It’s really gorgeous. Last week, Anand started posting pictures of women’s faces that had Pantone shade cards covering their eyes, depicting how, as Kajal Magazine reports, these women were paint chips. Each picture was accompanied by a poem written by Agarwal.
(Posting these again because they’re all done) Art by me, poem by @anoushkaagrawal This is part of “Shade Card” a series that seeks to establish the unnecessary importance Indian society tends to give to complexion through poetry based on real life instances where people were made aware of their skin colour. Tired but happy, she took a sip out of her water bottle And stepped out of her car. She walked to the lift of her building, her little Earrings dangling from her ears as sweat dangled from the apex of her chin. She had a big performance the following week, because of which her shin Had begun to ache with the long hours of rehearsal, but she didn’t mind. Her Indian classical dance form allowed her to leap, to fly, to find Within her the beauty that she had for years not been able to trust. When she danced, she transcended universes; reality turned to dust. She straightened her kurta, wiped the moist off her cheek with her sleeve, She shook the bag on her shoulder, to make sure she didn’t leave Her ghunghrus behind. She stopped before the four lifts of her building’s lobby, smiling at the watchman Who didn’t smile back. The doors of the lift opened; she entered and suddenly stopped, deadpan When she heard the lady next to her speak. The lady was older, bigger, and had tremendously heavy make-up on; She adjusted her ridiculously shimmery sari and looked at the object of scorn In front of her, at the representative of the category of people that was inferior to her own. “Whose house do you work as the maid in?” For a minute, the girl stared at her, confused. Then, glancing at her dark skin, She understood the lady’s question. Not knowing what to say, She mumbled something about her dance class, then quickly made her way Out of the lift as soon as the doors opened. She felt a strange disconnection To her own self. Never before had she been more conscious of her complexion. . . . . . . #art #complexion #racism #colourism #india #intersectional #art #pantone #racism #issues #socialart #socialissues #art #illustration #girl #portrait #artist #artwork #artivism #activism #india #indiangirl #desi #southasia #southasiangirl #southasianissues
Anand told Agarwal in this interview that the reason she started exploring this subject was because of her own personal experience growing up a dark-skinned woman, from being teased by classmates to hearing the judgmental comments made by adults around her about her skin tone. The project aims at emphasising how there’s no correlation between beauty and complexion.
You can check out the full project on Tara Anand’s Instagram page here. While you’re at it, check out the rest of her work too. So good!
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