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The story of Eve: a journey of self-sufficiency and female emancipation

I am from Hyderabad, India. I have an engineering degree and a master’s in gender studies. I am a corporate slave by the day and I burn the midnight oil to harness that artist in me. The two subjects which fascinate me are women and gender and space and astronomy.

Coming from a middle-class family that does not see art as a career prospect, I never had the opportunity to learn art in a formal institutional setup. As a child, I spent my summer holidays harnessing my potential to create art and crafts. After I grew up, I practiced personal writing for a long time. During the COVID lockdown, my life turned upside down due to some events in my personal life and I got driven to art once again after exhausting my ability to express myself through poetry. Somehow, I suddenly became quiet, and words started failing me, but I still needed to document my emotions. The urge to sketch overtook all of my excuses for not having any practice with it. I indeed lack the skill and it will take me ages to catch up with every other artist who has been practicing for years. I know what it takes to enter some art spaces without having “studied” art. I have heard gallerists in Hyderabad addressing self-taught artists as non-artists! And of course, I was outraged at the gatekeeping coming from traditional art spaces. Above all of this, my inhibitions and self-doubts about whether I have the talent and conviction to sustain my passion for sketching and painting aren’t helping either. So, I am taking baby steps. Firstly, I needed to acknowledge a few things – I am a busy person who will always have a full-time job and I cannot afford to pursue art full-time. I want to be able to still make art on the go at any time, any place. I do not want to be very particular about details, I just to be able to make a point that others resonate with. Hence, I shifted completely to digital art.

Now, traditional art spaces are still not open to awarding credibility and value to digital art with the same parameters of merit used to measure the value of paintings made on canvases with tangible paints. Having said that, such type of challenges make it all the more thrilling to make art by leveraging technology. Don’t get me wrong, I am not endorsing CHAT GPT category AI art! I am talking about exploring mediums that act as enablers for new genres of art to emerge. I am excited to see what else is possible with an IPad, a drawing app, and a stylus pen. The story art series, Eve is something I am proud of. This project is personal, confessional, and the result of one year’s experiences of living alone in a metro city as a single 33-year-old woman. Any young woman from anywhere in the world who sees this project will personally relate to it. I feel that this project is timeless and is going to remain relevant. I hope you like it!

EVE is a story art series. The concept stemmed from my personal experiences as a single 33-year-old woman living alone. Eve has had a long year of lonely trials and tribulations. The good news is, that she emerged triumphant in all the battles she chose to fight. She earned this moment of pure niravana, a rapturous cloud spa in the seventh heaven with her grit, bravery, and self-imposed solitude.

While her wounds take their time to heal, she is thinking and planning the rest of her life. She is making a to-do list in her mind. She is also building all the mental strategies she needs in order to preserve her status of ultimate boundlessness and her indissoluble ownership of her body, mind, decisions, and actions followed by well-known consequences. Eve shall own it all. Eve has finally done it.

In 2019, the term 'self-partnered' gained wide attention as a way of re-framing relationship status after Emma Watson first mentioned it in an interview. Following this Angelica Malin came out with a book of multiple empowering essays on singlehood called 'Unattached'. The book observes that single-positivity movement is here as more and more women between theages of 25 and 42 are choosing to be single. Angelica Malin interviewed Francesca Specter regarding her book 'How to be single and absolutely own it'. Francesca coined the term 'Alonement'. In her own words 'Alonement is an empowering new word to express valuing your own company and dedicating quality time to yourself'. She goes on to say that having a relationship with one's self and being satisfied and happy in one's own company enhances self-esteem.

Eve wakes up to different levels of motivations each day. On most days she goes to bed with the guilt of not being productive through the day, like her father expects her to. How is it possible for anyone to be productive all the time?

If we were to clock every waking hour with some work done, it would mean all the hours are business hours. Oh then, 'what is leisure?' Or should she rather say 'When is leisure?'. This is why Eve believes the time is not a borrowed resource, it is the only resource that's "her own". Only Eve gets to decide how much time she spends doing what or doing nothing!

Especially, to live a creative life, one has to have control over how one spends time. That kind of ownership brings everything - freedom, mobility, agency, patience to try multiple times to achieve satisfactory results in any activity one pursues and ultimately earn all the credit to one's own life story!

Eve grew up listening to stories of female liberation, poems by popular male poets on how beautiful, capable, and powerful women can be, and songs and movies essaying strong women who fulfil the feminist goal of achieving equal opportunities, winning justice, saving the world, etc. As Eve grew up

and eventually joined the workforce, that's when she encountered the truth!

Everybody loves to imagine a liberated, boundless woman breaking away from the shackles of carefully designed expectations to uphold the old order and freely occupying public spaces until.........

She comes alive in real flesh, bones, and blood. Every community fears a woman who has no strings attached, no one and nothing to limit her, absolute nothing to feel ashamed of, and who's also aware of her rights and power and how to use it to her benefit.

On her immediate arrival, she is villainised, deemed as a sorceress. That'sobvious because who does not like the status quo and who likes to take orders from afterall a woman? Anything that is spearheaded by a woman is automatically feminized, which is synonymous to inefficiency, no-show, failure, etc. Suppose a woman successfully reigns over organizations, systems, communities, and countries, the world is never ready for her.

The world is never ready for a fully emancipated Eve.

There is so much peer pressure to find ourselves a significant someone without first dwelling upon finding our ownselves. Nobody ever has these conversations, but it is imperative to spend a considerable amount of time unattached, unpaired, uncoupled to know what kind of voids need filling by a better half. Eve embarked upon a journey to find herself. She invested time in herself sufficiently until she finally met Eve and voila! - It's a match!

Mahitha Kasireddi


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