On April 7 2017, 12 women started from South Asian University in Delhi with the sole objective to stroll at night, to loiter to their hearts content. Unfortunately a big group was needed to facilitate this loitering and Delhi Galiyara was called as facilitator to carry the discussion forward. Ghumakkari: Gender, city and loitre (Just to add some French fervour) was a 3 day event organised by the South Asian University where the concept of loitering was watched in the form of Mera Apna Shehar, a documentary by Filmmaker Sameera Jain, was discussed through the book Why Loiter? by Shilpa Phadke, Shilpa Ranade and Sameera Khan and was performed on day 3, as the act of loitering.
Since the purpose of the “event” was loitering so it was done in Chanakyapuri itself where the campus of SAU is located. The fact that an event had to be created for an everyday act of loitering itself points out how detested darkness is for woman.
“Dark represents the possibilities of both danger and pleasure…the darkness of the night presents the possibility of meeting the proverbial stranger, a source of both anticipation and anxiety. If the spatial limits for women are drawn out through the private-public definitions, the temporal boundaries of a woman’s world are marked by the movement of the sun” – Why Loiter?
Yes we had double thoughts whether to go out or not. But somewhere it was the number that gave us the strength and we did it. We reclaimed our right to the city with hearts palpitating initially but returned back relaxed and with big smiles on our faces.
Image courtesy: Rubina