Indian Fashion Photographer Reenacts Sexual Assault In Tasteless Campaign (Photos)
Photographer Raj Shetye's new photo series, The Wrong Turn, has been receiving backlash for glamorizing sexual assault.
In the photos, a well-dressed female model appears to be fighting off male models groping her on a bus. One model is holding her down, while the other appears to be kissing her leg and working his way up her thigh.
People believed Shetye based the photoshoot off a student in Delhi who was gang raped on a bus in December 2012. The attack, called Nirbhaya, forced India to re-evaluate its treatment of women.
Twitter users have voiced their disapproval of this shoot:
Fail to understand how a fashion shoot depicting rape on an Indian bus increases awareness. Insensitive & insulting to memory of #Nirbhaya. — Snigdha (@snigskitchen) August 6, 2014
One can not be #human if tries to earn name,fame,money to visualizing script(brutal rape incident) #Nirbhaya .. — ARUN KUMAR MATHUR (@THEAKMATHUR) August 6, 2014
Mumbai-based photographer's vision brings glamour to gang-rape?! #Nirbhaya http://t.co/d9O59ygNBp @browngirladiti pic.twitter.com/mQmLgcUj5r — Brown Girl Magazine (@BrownGirlMag) August 5, 2014
Shetye, who denies replicating Nirbhaya altogether, believes he did nothing wrong.
He told the Daily Mail,
In today's times when freedom of speech and expression is ripped off from a person merely through social media, it is a plight for an artist to keep his work in perspective and independent of public opinion. It's unfortunate that I am compelled to justify my artistic expression of a social issue just as many artists (big and small) have had to do in the past. I still strongly stand by work.
Shetye claims his focus was on how poor people are forced to take unsafe public transportation, while "the rich can afford the luxury and safety attached to driving in their own vehicle."
I believe that I have managed to achieve my goal of starting dialogue on these issues. If the cost to set the ball rolling is that I have to be the bad guy here, be it that way.