The body of the citizen, especially the female citizen, faces pervasive threat as we negotiate an epoch of escalating terror and violence. No longer confined to declared warfronts and conflict zones, these forces have infiltrated both public and intimate spaces, civic and domestic contexts. The bodied self can be insulted, subjugated, incarcerated, curbed by religious decree, dictatorial whim or popular sentiment. It can be deprived of the rights of mobility and expression. The body in need of protection resorts to armour: an outer skin that cannot easily be dented or pierced, An armoured body can extend its capabilities through the mailed fist, the spiked helmet, the radiation-proof bodysuit, or heightened fight/ flight reflexes. But the body pays for this protection with its freedom. The armour becomes a cage, protected by, yet trapped within, an exoskeleton.
Film Julus consists of 4 synchronized videos to be seen together as one art form. It is a declaration of the vision that anyone can have equal rights and freedom as individuals, as part of a community as a whole. Within this space I have continued to address the violation of the female body in private and public spaces. Once again the stiffness of the armour restricting free movement allowed me to connect to the terracotta warriors of China. As individuals these warriors speak of power, grace and valour. Standing together as a group, as a battalion they also speak of strength and togetherness. Hence I pose as a Zen warrior, unstoppable, skillful, intelligent, fearless, courageous, powerful and free. In the film I use my body as a site to reconstruct these aspects to create the female warriors of today and tomorrow with their want for equal rights and respect and freedom.