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Blank Noise is a volunteer-run community, a public, and an online art project aimed at confronting street sexual harassment ("eve-teasing") and violence in India. Initiated in 2003, founder Jasmeen Patheja reveals, "As an art student I was deeply interested and motivated by art practices that could work with communities, that could exist in public, that could heal, provoke, question. I was interested in work that could be built via participation, that could be a dialogue or a collaboration."*
"We don't like to think of it as an audience, but rather a community we are engaging with. It's always about the participation, always about reaching out for a kind of engagement."
The project features contributors who use various forms of media (video testimonials, clothing, poetry, images, demonstrations, spray painting) to address, spark discussion, and create a public debate around issues of sexual violence and street harassment. Some of its specific actions/events include a blogathon in 2006, during which bloggers were asked to share their experiences of street sexual harassment, resulting in hundreds of participants and a wide spread of testimonials. Blank Noise lives as an online project through its active blog. It has also spawned sister blogs, Blank Noise Action Heroes and Blank Noise Spectators.
For more information on Blank Noise's history and action, check out this case study report.