“Priya’s Shakti is the first Indian comic book of its kind — not only confronting teenagers with the sensitive issue of sexual violence, but also engaging young people through its innovative use of augmented reality technology.” — REUTERS
A woman vanquishes her fears and dismisses the ridicule, speaking out as a survivor and becoming an inspiration to thousands of women in India who have faced the same ordeal — a modern-day female superhero. – VICE NEWS
Priya’s Shakti is a path-breaking superhero who fights for women’s rights and equality. – INDIA EXPRESS
In this technologically innovative and wildly popular interactive comic book, Priya’s Shakti, a gang-rape survivor-turned-superhero, demonstrates strength, courage and womanhood — MSNBC
A new superhero has arisen in India in the wake of the brutal gang rape on a Delhi bus two years ago: Priya, a mortal woman who is raped herself, but who fights back against sexual violence with the help of the goddess Parvati – and a tiger. – THE GUARDIAN
Now available the second chapter of the hugely popular comic book — “Priya’s Mirror.” Inspired by ancient mythological tales, the comic book tells the story of Priya—a mortal woman and gang-rape survivor—who join forces with a group of acid attack survivors as they fight against the demon-king, Ahankar, and his tyrannical hold on them. [ Website ]
The idea to create “Priya’s Shakti” came after the horrible gang rape and murder of a young woman on a bus in New Delhi in 2012. The incident caused an enormous outcry across India, particularly among young people — both female and male. Many people called for a cultural shift especially in terms of empowering women in modern society and challenging deep-rooted patriarchal views that affect both women and men. As a result, we created a new Indian “superhero” – Priya – who is a rape survivor with the capacity to inspire others and promote change. UN Women honored the character as a “gender equality champion!”
Initially funded by the Tribeca Film Institute’s New Media Fund and the Ford Foundation, the comic book launched at the 2014 Mumbai Comic and Film Convention. “It was the most anticipated comic book release of the event.” — MUMBAI WEEK. The comic book and character became an immediate hit with over 400 news stories worldwide and nearly 500,000 digital downloads. Also, thousands of printed copies were distributed to attendees of the Mumbai and Delhi Comic Cons.
Priya’s Shakti is now part of the World Bank’s WEvolve Global Initiative, which challenges young men and women to break through societal norms that lead to gender-based violence. WEvolve provides a platform and community for teens and young adults to come together, share stores and seek new ways to end gender violence.
AUGMENTED REALITY COMIC BOOK.
Central to the project is an augmented reality (AR) comic book & exhibition – the first of its kind with international outreach and social engagement. In the AR comic book, certain panels are animated featuring real-life stories and voices of Indian women who have survived sexual assault and faced the ensuing trauma and social stigma. These pieces are short documentaries, but the women will be animated in order to protect their identities and can be activated through a free AR APP. This project helped define the new frontier of integrating literary publications & exhibitions with AR technology.
500+ New Stories Around the World
We recently released “Priya’s Shakti” at the Mumbai Film and Comic Convention in December 2014 and immediately it went viral with over 500 news stories all over the world including features on BBC, Guardian, NPR, NBC News, Vogue, and all of the major newspapers and publications in India.
PRIYA’S SHAKTI is a Rattapallax production and supported by World Bank’s WEvolve Global Initiative. Initially supported by the Tribeca Film Institute’s New Media Fund and the Ford Foundation. Apne Aap Women Worldwide is the non-profit engagement partner. Augmented reality partner is Blippar.
Developed at Crossover Labs and DOK Leipzig Net Lab. Selected for the market at Power to the Pixel, Cross Video Days and Sheffield DocFest’s Crossover Market. Incubated at the ‘Made in NY’ Media Center by IFP. City Lore was our exhibition and New York City educational outreach partner.
Support was provided by a Face Out grant, funded by The Jerome Foundation and administered by The Council of Literary Magazines and Presses. Also a grant from Asian Women’s Giving Circle supported by Ms. Foundation for Women. Priya Shakti was made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. We also received a Hive Digital Media Learning Fund in the New York Community Trust. Presentation of “Parvati Saves the World” is made possible in part with public funds from the Manhattan Community Arts Fund, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. In the comic book, you can learn about and download the innovative APP — Circle of 6. With Circle of 6, you can connect with your friends to stay close, stay safe and prevent violence before it happens.