“ Feel like a person, with flesh and bones and desires and a heart, with mood swings and a strong internal world. Not just an entity, a portrayal of what the ideal me should be, a talking mannequin for your display? I want to be free “
Who we are, what we like, what languages we speak, what clothes we wear and how loud we speak. These may seem like choices, things we have a direct control over. However, most of it is pre-decided by the socio-economic/ cultural backgrounds we are born in. Eventually as we grow up and start developing an independent mind, we long for a free spirit. Especially as women and even more specifically as Women of Colour. We wear our cultures on our skin and the responsibility that comes with it.
I wrote Neckline 4 years back, in India, when I believed that my dream of becoming an artist was an impossible one because of the social pressure that surrounded me. We are all products of the patriarchy that penetrates every aspect of our life. Neckline is my attempt to subvert, liberate and break the barriers that made me less human.
Neckline is a film that explores restrictions we racially diverse women face by our sheer identity. All the women in this team have at some point broken through the roles decided for them by society and reclaimed their identity, in all its diversity. We have women from a plethora of countries, ethnicities and sexual orientations. It is an all women production apart from our music producer and editor who is in the process of exploring his female side.
We want you to bear in mind that these numbers are just the reported cases. We live in a world where numbers are being made irrelevant or boring. We want them to irk you. We want them to unsettle you. We want these numbers to make you revolt, if you haven’t yet.
117 million girls demographically go “missing” due to sex-selective abortions, according to The UN. In India, the concept of gender reveal is unheard of as pre natal sex determination is banned due to the rampant female feoticide.
Women make up 75% of the world’s workforce. Women work two-thirds of the world’s working hours. They earn only 10% of the world’s income and own less than 1% of the world’s property.
Women constitute 49.6% of the world population. They hold only 21 percent of the world’s parliamentary seats, and only 8 percent of the world’s cabinet ministers are women.
One in three women around the world are likely to be victims of gender-based violence in their lifetime. In New Zealand, 20 percent of women will be physically abused by a male partner and one in five women will be a victim of rape or attempted rape in her lifetime. In Samoa, 46 percent of women have been abused by their partner. In Fiji 41 percent of women who experienced violence reported being hit while pregnant. In India, a rape is reported every 15 minutes, according to recently released official government crime data. The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data from 2018 has stark revelations about crime in the country.
Sources: OXFAM, UN, UNICEF, UNIFEM, WHO, UNDP
Neckline is a provocation, an appeal to the world to listen to our voices and for us to embrace our inner most desires. To break free from society’s expectation of ‘an Ideal woman’ and be free to slither out of the box we name as our comfort zone.
We are womxn. We are disadvantaged by our anatomy, the moment we are born. We are womxn of colour. We are also disadvantaged by the melanin in our skin. We are womxn from a foreign land. We are disadvantaged by not only our legal status as aliens but also split between cultural expectations. We are womxn who love other womxn. We are dykes. We are disadvantaged by who we love. We are womxn, but we are disadvantaged because the world refuses to accept us as womxn. We spend all our lives fighting a battle not only with the rules of the world but also with our own identities.
Neckline aims to give exactly what the name suggests, courage to be free and to empower every single person out there who feels trapped. Neckline is a film about hope, breaking barriers and shattering that f*cking patriarchy.