Discussing periods has become somewhat of a painstaking task where men find it hard to even ackowledge the existence of a woman’s monthly cycle. Enter artist Raj Kamal, who is making the world uncomfortable one art piece at a time with his latest Period Art Project. Going by the Instagram handle The Legend of Raj, this artist and Art Consultant has been creating illustrations using tampons. Using items of menstrual hygiene in the artwork, Raj Kamal is making a statement. As he addresses the dichotomy of how menstrual hygiene is the least of our concerns as a country with nearly 70-80% of women not even having access to any products for feminine hygiene. Add to that the GST (Goods and Services Tax) that brought with it the terror of a 12% tax on sanitary napkins.
Raj Kamal found this as the trigger point for his project that post-World Menstrual Hygiene Day, the government had decided to tax sanitary napkins and exempt things like sindoor, bindis and bangles. His project is a tool of invoking a greater thought process: Where have we left our bleeding women?
Initially, he did not get a good response for his project, but later on, as he took to social media and started posting his artwork there, it began to garner more attention, from followers and media houses alike.
The by-products of living in a patriarchal society, Raj was surprised to see that many men in his office did not even know what tampons were. This further instilled the desire in him to follow the demystification of menstruation and how the women in cities weren’t the ones representing Indian women, instead the real woman of our country were in rural India. He uses art to talk about this stigma around periods and impure blood:
More than 70% of women in India don’t have access to items of menstrual hygiene. Many temples in India consider a menstruating woman as impure and restrict her entry. Why is menstruation still considered a taboo in our country? I just wanted to share that as beautiful as women are, even this is a beautiful part of being a woman.
Raj Kamal likes illustrating all things that plague the human race like body shaming, racism, depression, inequality, harassment, etc.
You can follow Raj on Instagram here: @TheLegendOfRaj
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