[Reader-list] [announcements] Tuesday, Dec.20: Discussion on Dress Codes

PUKAR pukar at pukar.org.in
Mon Dec 19 09:52:36 IST 2005

PUKAR Gender & Space Project invites you to a discussion of the wider issues around the institutionalizing of Dress Codes by Universities across the country


Date:              Tuesday, 20 December 2005

Time:              6.30 pm

Venue:            PUKAR Office

Address:        2nd Floor, Kamanwala Chambers, Opposite Strand Book Stall, Sir. P M Road, Fort, Mumbai 400001. Tel: 5574-8152



Do we need a dress code in colleges?  Whom is the dress code directed at? What are the kinds of clothing they object to? What are the varied grounds on which these objections are voiced? Is the debate about dress codes only about clothing? Or is it also about something else? 


And if it's about more than dress codes then what are these other things; these anxieties that play themselves out in the debate on dress codes? The sexuality of heterosexual couples outside marriage? The fear that information on safe sex will encourage sex? The threat posed by the non-normative sexuality of gay, lesbian or trans-gender people? The purity of narrowly defined religion written on the bodies of women? The purity of a regional culture reflected in the virtue of its women? The boundaries of caste, race or nation? Narrowly defined visions of Indian-ness? 


It's not just Indians who are worried about clothing. The French have acrimonious public debates about them. The Turks have used clothing to define nation as western or Islamic. The Iranians used clothing as revolutionary symbol only to have it haunt them in the post- revolutionary society. The Dutch are still grappling with the presence of veiled women in public space. The US Americans demonstrate suspicion of terrorist intention on the basis of clothing. 


We submit that that dress codes are merely symptomatic of a time when not just the way people dress is sought to be controlled but the way we walk, behave, and exchange thoughts, ideas and affection. The intention of this roundtable discussion is to raise questions not just about dress codes but also the varied issues that have come up recently:  the sanctions against couples in many cities, moral codes relating to women's sexuality, the sanctions against same sex relationships, the varied fatwas on Muslim women, the brouhaha over actor Khushboo's comment on pre-marital safe-sex, the length of Sania Mirza's skirts, the Imrana case, the anxieties about the cross-community romances during Navratri are only some of them. It is important that we discuss these concerns not in isolation (which is how they are often reported) but as inter-linked issues that seek to censor our voices and define our choices. 


We invite you to participate in a discussion of the wider issues around the institutionalizing of Dress Codes by Universities across the country.



The Discussion will be initiated by an audio documentary 


Then They Came For My Jeans.


The audio documentary raises questions about the dress codes being imposed on college students in various universities. The documentary is located in the broader context of the PUKAR Gender & Space project which seeks to explore the ways by which women experience public spaces, accessing them against all odds, transforming the nature of urban life in the process. 


A 12 minute audio documentary 

Produced by: Studio PUKAR 

Executive Producers: Sameera Khan & Shilpa Phadke 

Sound Recordist & Editor: Anita Kushwaha 

Creative Consultant: Shilpa Gupta

Documentation: Shriti K

Cover Design: Shilpa Ranade

Thanks to BMM Dept., SIES College for Recording Assistance

Funded by: Indo-Dutch Programme on Alternative Development





PUKAR (Partners for Urban Knowledge Action and Research)

Address:: 1-4, 2nd Floor, Kamanwala Chambers, Sir P. M. Road, Fort, Mumbai 400 001
Telephone:: +91 (22) 5574 8152 
Fax:: +91 (22) 5664 0561
Email:: pukar at pukar.org.in
Website:: www.pukar.org.in
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://mail.sarai.net/pipermail/reader-list/attachments/20051219/6c167037/attachment.html 
-------------- next part --------------
announcements mailing list
announcements at sarai.net

More information about the reader-list mailing list