Our Pictures, Our Words

A Visual Journey Through the Women’s Movement

Laxmi Murthy and Rajashri Dasgupta

Our Pictures, Our Words

Laxmi Murthy and Rajashri Dasgupta

Distributed for Zubaan Books

228 pages | 300 color plates | 6 x 9 | © 2011
Paper $19.00 ISBN: 9789381017258 Published April 2013 World sales rights except India
Vibrant, dynamic, spirited, and forceful. The contemporary women’s movement in India, which began in the late 1970s, fought valiantly against dark times marked by violence and misogyny. But it also celebrated—liberation, solidarity among women, and the joyous breaking away from patriarchy. Its members sang, performed, and painted, in order to draw attention to the vital issues of the time: dowry death, widow immolation, acid throwing, and rape.
Featuring over three hundred full color images, Our Pictures, Our Words delivers a lavish pictorial history of the multifaceted Indian women’s movement, conveyed through its most immediate visual representation: posters, drawings, pamphlets, reports, brochures, stickers, wall-writing, and photographs. The artwork reproduced here is part of Zubaan’s six-year Poster Women project, which has attempted to locate and archive as many posters as possible in order to visually map the diversity of women’s causes.

Over the past three decades, women’s concerns have matured and broadened to include a range of issues related to women’s health, sexuality, the environment, literacy, the impact of religion and communal violence on women’s lives, political participation, globalization, displacement, labor rights, disability rights, class and caste issues, and many more. To capture this many-faceted crusade, the posters in the book have been thematically organized and annotated in detail, with information about the date the artwork was created, the campaign it supported, the designer, the concept behind the poster, the reaction to it, and short essays to further document the richness of the movement.


Body Politics
    Domestic Violence
    Sexual Harassment
Community Politics
    Religion and Personal Laws
    Honour Crimes
    Religious Extremism
Societal Politics
    Political Participation
    Citizenship and Governance
Politics of Access
    Land of One’s Own
    Labour Pains

Onward Journey
Review Quotes
Geeta Seshu | Feminists India
“The visuals also do what the songs of the women’s movement did—uplift and celebrate the unity and solidarity of women, their strength and spirit. So even as Laxmi and Rajashri Dasgupta examine the posters and how they depict the issue at hand . . . they also pick up posters that celebrate—from the earlier posters of women streaming out of factories and fields to the later posters on sexuality and diversity.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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