Rape Culture in India Project gets Kickstarted
(Pix courtesy: Kickstarter)
Boston student Eric Holland has tapped crowd funding site Kickstarter to create a short film about the so called “Rape Culture in India” and how it can be stopped.
The 20-minute documentary will identify cultural and political factors that perpetuate rape culture in India.
A standalone photo essay will accompany the film.
Who is Eric Holland?
Eric is a second-semester freshman at Northeastern University in Boston.
The young fellow hails from Apple Valley in Minnesota and has acted in a short film about depression.
Rape Culture in India will be Eric’s first time behind the camera.
Last week, Eric raised $1,010 from Kickstarter to buy camera equipment and software for the Rape Culture in India project.
Laudable as Eric’s motive is, I can’t fathom the key goal behind his mission – To raise awareness about the Rape Culture in India.
In today’s 24/7 world of a million newspapers, billion TV channels and a gazillion blogs, is there anyone anywhere in this galaxy unaware of the rape problem in India?
Truth be said, the world is over-saturated with information about rapes in India.
Even if there were a mythical goose unaware of rape in India, surely the Nirbhaya incident of December 2012 would have raised his awareness too since it brought discussions of rape to the surface in India and elsewhere.
Here’s an excerpt about Eric’s upcoming Rape Culture in India film odyssey as noted in his Kickstarter funding page:
The ultimate purpose of our project is to raise awareness about the rape culture in India that enables the ghastly gang rapes we see on the nightly news. By using India as a case study and producing both a short film and research article, our team hopes to take the issue of rape culture down to a personal and emotionally tangible level, while still producing and disseminating new knowledge on the subject. In the process, we believe that we will see that our own cultural attitude toward rape is not very different from India’s. From this, our film and paper will identify steps that everyday people can take to eliminating prevailing attitudes about rape. If this short film stops just one victim from being blamed for being raped or even prevents just one rape, this entire project would be worth it.
Why Not Prison Rape in U.S.?
Prison rape is widespread in the U.S.
Although the issue has received some media attention, it’s nowhere near the coverage a rape in India gets.
Prison rape in U.S. is a subject crying for attention, far more than the “Rape Culture in India.”
In the last two decades alone, more than one million inmates have been raped in America’s prisons (Source: Prison Rape by Michael Singer, p.18).
Because of rampant rape in America’s prisons, many inmates have had their rectums torn, been exposed to terrible diseases like tuberculosis, AIDS, chlamydia, herpes, syphilis, gonorrhea, and their psyches destroyed beyond repair.
Why Eric Holland would want to venture to India to “raise awareness” about the rape culture in India when he has a bigger rape pasture to plow in America’s prisons is a question only he can answer.
Eric plans to start filming Rape Culture in India in India on May 4 and complete it by June 7.
Following post-production work that includes editing and interviews with academics at Harvard University, Boston University and elsewhere, the short film and the photo essay should be ready for release by October 1, 2014.
Although rape under-reporting is a serious problem everywhere, I hope Eric’s essay will find ways to provide comparative statistics on rape in India, Russia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, USA, South Africa and Mexico on a per capita basis, i.e. no of rapes per 10,000 people. That should give us a good sense of the extent of the “rape culture” in a diverse set of countries and see if the media is exaggerating the problem in countries like India.
I can’t wait to see Eric Holland’s film.