Kool Kanya News / Speaking Out

Mural Painted By Trans Women Pays Tribute To ‘Covid Warriors’

. 3 min read . Written by Sanjana Bhagwat
Mural Painted By Trans Women Pays Tribute To ‘Covid Warriors’

A new mural painted by a group of trans women on the walls along Swami Vivekananda metro station in Bangalore, is a tribute to all the frontline workers risking their lives, to make ours safer and easier during the pandemic. The mural painted by 10 trans women associated with the Aravani Project, an initiative of 95 Mirchi radio station, is a gesture of gratitude for the services of these “Covid Warriors”. 

The vibrant and inclusive mural paints these “Lions of COVID” at work – wearing a mask and doing their bit during the pandemic. The individuals painted in the mural include doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers, police officials, delivery personnel, auto drivers, and others. 

The mural was inaugurated on Friday in the presence of people of high importance in Bangalore, including the Bangalore police commissioner, members of parliament and celebrities. 

Conceptualised and initiated by the team at 95 Mirchi, RJ Jimmy explains that the ‘Lions of COVID’ mural is a way of immortalising and saying thank to the many frontline workers.

Image courtesy: thenewsminute.com

“LoC stands for Line of Control, and the frontline workers are the line of control between us and the COVID-19 pandemic… hence we turned LoC to stand for Lions of COVID,” he says.

Giving Trans Women A Voice And Space In Public Through Art

The mural was painted over the course of 2 weeks by 10 trans women associated with the Aravani Art Project. The initiative is an art collective of women and trans women striving to raise awareness and create a normalised friendship between trans women and public spaces, through wall art and other forms of art in public. The aim is to create safe spaces for “alternative vices”, with art being a beautiful medium for that voice.  

The artists were present at the inauguration, and received much applause and appreciation from the guests of honour and the attendees. 

“We used to come at 10 am and leave at 3 pm,” one of the artists, Chandri told The News Minute. She says that the pandemic has been a extremely difficult time for the transgender community. Their livelihoods have come to a standstill, and there is strained access to medicine and healthcare.  

Image courtesy: thenewsminute.com

Chandri says that a source of income for them during the pandemic has been making canvas paintings on order through Aravani. She says that have started to get other projects similar to the ‘Lions of COVID’ mural.

These trans women have found patrons for their art through the Aravani Project. The project’s founder Purnima Sukumar says that the 23 trans women associated with them across India have found patrons on Instagram, to buy their art, and have started getting projects for public art as well. 

Chandri says that before she joined the initiative 3 years back, she couldn’t even imagine painting. “But Purnima and others in the team told me, just try. And here I am… This is the second project I have worked on here, the first was on Kasturba Road. We’ve also created public art in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai. I even went to Facebook headquarters to paint there in 2018. If, like in this case, the BBMP and the government give us more opportunity, we will create art in even more spaces.” 

Kudos to this initiative for highlighting and paying tribute to the incredible work being done by the frontline workers during the pandemic, while also shining the spotlight on, giving a voice, and empowering a severely marginalised community of women in India!

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