The anonymous visual and performance artist Princess Pea has partnered with Khud Se Pooche to help raise awareness about dignified healthcare in Patna. Through a series of art-based workshops held with local women ambassadors from the Khud Se Pooche programme, Princess Pea will support the women to tell their stories and define their own narrative of ‘dignified healthcare.’
Through the workshops, women will work with Princess Pea to co-create a symbol, a visual representation of dignified healthcare, that will be backed by personal narratives and creative expression. They will go on to use textiles, embroidery, and patch-work to co-create a symbol representing ‘dignity in healthcare’. The symbol will then form a site-specific art installation to be displayed in the city in October.
Attendees from the workshop will be drawn from the Khud Se Pooche ambassador programme which invites women from Patna to lead a movement for change around accessing empathetic healthcare services. This women-led and women-centred initiative has been developed by organisations including Sakhi, Gaurav Gramin Mahila Vikas Manch and Bihar Youth for Child Rights with support from organisations including BihArt, Centre for Social Equity and Inclusion, Population Foundation of India and the Lion’s Club of Patna.
Princess Pea is perhaps best known for her anonymous alter ego and her characteristic pea-shaped headgear. The workshops form part of Princess Pea’s collaborative work process, engaging directly with a diverse range of women to explore the politics and aesthetics of care, women-led narratives of self and economies of domestic life amongst women and children.
Her process will lead the women ambassadors from Khud Se Pooche through a journey of self-reflection by leveraging their creative talents. Her workshops aim to lower inhibitions and encourage sharing of personal narratives amongst the attendees. Insights from these sessions will form the basis of a symbol for the campaign that represents dignity for all women of Patna. The next workshop will be held on Friday, 24 September.
“My projects have mostly included housewives, small entrepreneurs, differently-abled women along with women who have suffered abuse, suffer from body image related violence and mental health amongst themes of visibility and systemic erasure. This is a unique opportunity where the intervention can become a symbol of strength and a demand for dignity. “ – says Princess Pea.
So far the Khud Se Pooche ambassador programme has received 250 applications and expects 1,000 more within the next month. The programme will equip women in Patna with digital storytelling skills to define their own narrative around health care and amplify their voices via social media, public events or directly engaging with other women.