Final year student and a social artist Heinrich Gossen from the Netherlands iArts University (Interdisciplinary Art) worked on his graduation project “Equality” in collaboration with Varitra Foundation in India. The concept of his project is to take the viewer into the atmosphere of another person experiencing oppression under the influence of social inequality. “Pillow of Thoughts” is Interactive art exhibition, which opens a topic of gender inequality in our days. This exhibition was made based on the result of local research and with materials collected in India together with Indian children, their families and with the support of the Indian social organization “Varitra Foundation”. On this page you can watch the video of the exhibition presented in May 2022 (the Netherlands, Maastricht) and take a virtual journey to another mind and place.
Women in India have been experiencing serious difficulties due to gender inequality. This problem is partly due to culture and traditions, where the position of a woman is clearly defined. Discrimination against women starts at an early age. Parents of girls often do not see the point in their education, since after marriage a girl will go to another family and will be engaged in housework and raising children, which is the main role of a woman in the traditional sense. Meanwhile, many educated women in India achieve tremendous success and excellent results in their professional activities. The government of India is actively trying to change the situation and are implementing all possible reforms. However, progress in this area is still slow, especially in the poorer regions of the country. The caste system and religious beliefs have a significant impact on the current situation. To solve this problem, a change in thinking and enlightenment by the population is necessary.
Pillow of Thoughts:
While traveling through India, I collected the thoughts of Indian girls from different social strata of the population. I collected the thoughts of girls who go to school and those who have never been to school. I conducted surveys in school classes with students, visited the Communes of tribal people, and also simply collected data on the street by interviewing passers-by. All these thoughts were written down and embodied in a "Pillow of Thoughts" (a symbol of thoughts before sleep). A "Monologue of an Indian girl", which is used in the exhibition, was constructed from these collected thoughts as well.
Objects for the room were collected and determined by me together with the children from the tribal Commune. The girls who never had their own room explained what objects they would like to see in their own imaginary room and why. All the items and materials were purchased from local markets.
For more information, please check: https://www.gossenart.com/pillow-of-thoughts