ANTIDOTE: Uncovering Skin & Soul is a social impact documentary that explores women’s relationship with their bodies. 30 intimate stories by 30 diverse women that was translated to body art in 30 days.
The inspiration for ANTIDOTE came about after I worked on a project called
"This Body is Mine" in 2017, giving a contemporary artistic spin to the elements present in Hindu goddesses, to combat street harassment. While it led to more people understanding the role of women in Indian culture, it also transcended culture and religion – by embracing diversity in women, while inspiring them to speak up against gender inequality.
The series of photos, a combination of body painting + photography + performance art, was seen over 2 million people worldwide. This project was exhibited in several group shows locally in Malaysia, and internationally in “Be Bold for Change”, Adam&Eve DDB, London as well as a case study in ARTS and SOCIETY (IYGU) by Mémoire de l’Avenir, Paris. More recently, it was presented in UNESCO’s World Humanities Conference in Liege, Belgium in 2017.
However as I was expanding the project, I soon realised that I was imposing my concepts on to the women and my collaborators. Without inflicting my ideas and concepts onto my “canvas”, for thirty days during my residency in Rimbun Dahan, I listened to 30 intimate stories by 30 diverse women and interpreted them with body art, a personal art pieces, painted on their skin. The discussion? Scars, insecurities, modesty, beauty, motherhood, aging, sexuality and about everything that entails being a woman - anyone, who identifies as a woman.
Together with my female friends, I explored our responses and gathered wisdom to help each other to navigate and counteract this modern day problem.
ANTIDOTE is currently in the post-production stage and I’m committed to create a film that is relevant, relatable, engaging – but above all, provide life changing insights into our relationship with our bodies.
This initiative is supported by Mathubalan Gunasogaran, who has graciously offered to collaborate with me for the photography and filming aspect of the project.
Juliet Jacobs speaks about ANTIDOTE, to discuss this feminist-themed artwork.