When Men are from Venus

by Ravisha Mall


Lines lose context…

grow stronger without anyone remembering

to redraw them…

wither away when noone is watching

and then lines or their absence become bigger

than the people who drew them.

A collection of images which, while being extremely intimate, openly question the definitions of femininity and the lines of androgyny. The men in these pictures have been captured in their essence; proud of who they are they refuse to feel the need to fit in pre-decided compartments and wear their sexuality on their sleeves. Stemming from an uncanny interest in issues pertaining to gender and sexuality, ‘When Men are from Venus’ is a direct reflection of the fast fading of gender stereotypes.

Editor’s Note – Antonio Marques

Sometimes described as the perfect humans due to an open combination of masculine and feminine traits, androgynous people, living between genders, still have to perform in a society that commonly believes a label equals character and personality. Ravisha’s essay, “When Men are from Venus”, is a mixture of assertiveness and tension, depicted by the subjects as well as by the framing and composition of the images. Assertiveness in the poses and confidence that seem to scream “This is Who I Am”, and tension in the gaze and posture that seem to invite the photo and, at the same time, look at the camera as an intruder.

Going through the essay, image after image, the sense of conflict seems to fade until the last image is reached which, singularly and in an extremely powerful way, antagonizes all the previous ones and brings back to the surface the conflict that still characterizes gender fluidity both individually and from a society’s perspective. While androgyny is definitely not an easy subject to describe and narrate photographically, Ravisha has certainly done it in a most insightful way.
About Ravisha Mall
Ravisha Mall (b 1989) is a writer-photographer based out of New Delhi. She holds a B.Des. in Fashion Communication from National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi, and is currently volunteering with Narmada Bachao Andolan in Madhya Pradesh. She writes for art journals and has a bent for poetry. She waits to be discovered and in the meantime hopes to grow four inches taller.

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