BENGALURU: A shutter shop with a swing which allows you to watch over the busy roads, Namma Katte, which translates into ‘my space’ in Kannada, provides a spot for women to simply be themselves, have meaningful conversations, do whatever they want and become a part of the community. Located in Lingarajapuram, the space has been opened by artist Indu Antony to help women feel a sense of freedom.
“Men can hang around just about anywhere without being questioned. But women often have to look out for many other factors. When I found that we don’t have a safe space, I realised that this is something that really needed to be looked into,” says Antony about Namma Katte which opened in January but had a formal launch in February after the third wave eased.
Antony conceptualised this as part of an artist-in-residency programme that was funded by UK-based Wellcome Trust, which is also collaborating with the Museum of Art and Photography (MAP). Antony says, “In one of the workshops we had, we asked the women to stitch embroidered fabric and share an instance in their lives. It could have been an abuse they went through or anything else they felt they wanted to get off their chest,” she says.
While it may sound like an oxymoron, she describes the session as ‘interactive-yet-silent’ where strangers came together to share their struggles.With summer vacations here, there are various programmes in the offing.
On a mission to get more women to feel like themselves, open up to each other and build a community, Namma Katte is for those who want to just hang out or participate in the many workshops they have. “These women come from different walks of life and not all of them will be able to express as much as they want to. Giving them a space to find that voice is what this is all about,” says Antony.