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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Girl Gone Bad

An old-school poster on society’s buri ladki or wayward girl goes viral.

Written by Somya Lakhani |
February 21, 2015 12:22:57 am
a bad girl, a bad girl poster, buri ladki The poster; ‘bad girls’ pout and smoke.

A group of five art students from Bangalore has just solved a huge dilemma. If you have ever wondered whether you belong to the “bad girl” bracket, take a look at their poster of Ek buri ladki and find your answer. That it has gone viral on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram makes it easier for you to judge yourself.

Replicating the aesthetics of old-school Indian Book Depot posters, this one shows a sari-clad woman indulging in activities that are usually deemed unsuitable for her. So, there she is — pouting, smoking and drinking, riding a bike, raving in Goa, watching pornography, letching at boys and falling in love in a park. She walks around with open hair, has breasts, cannot make rotis, and eats too little or too much.

The satirical poster has received stardom online in less than three days of it being shared on Twitter. The creators — Furqan Jawed, Roshan Shakeel, Sparsh Saxena, Jaiwant Pradhan and Stuti Kothari — find themselves in the midst of all this fervour. “We are studying a course called ‘Visual Culture and the Vernacular’ at Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology in Bangalore and we had an assignment in which we had to pick from topics such as ‘Illegal things’, ‘Common rubbish’ and ‘Bad girl’. We chose ‘Bad girl’, and I uploaded this finished work on January 22. Almost a month later, we realised it had been shared on Twitter and was going viral. We never anticipated it to be so big, it was just a class assignment after all,” says 22-year-old Jawed, over phone.


While the bunch enjoy the attention being bestowed upon them, the non-stop phone calls, Facebook messages and media interviews are interfering with their college schedule. When they began brainstorming on what makes a “bad girl”, they looked around themselves immediately. “We started looking at what comprises a bad girl according to the Indian society. We went back to instances of what girls around us were being screamed at for, and realised that if a boy would do the same thing, it would be acceptable,” adds Jawed. The poster, hence, makes a strong comment on the society, its patriarchal nature and the gender inequality that plagues it.

Apart from the text, it is the design aesthetic, dipped in nostalgia, that steals the show. “We studied these posters in Srishti, and also saw the work of artist Adarsh Balak. We are inspired by him,” says Jawed. Adarsh Balak is a Mumbai-based artist who rose to fame with Indian Book

Depot-styled posters that satirise the antics of the “ideal Indian boy”.

While the five students await the grade their faculty, Alison Brynes will shower on them, outside the premises of their college they have received an A+.

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