Indian folk dancers from a performing arts group use a smartphone to take a “selfie” as they take a break while participating part in a full dress rehearsal of Garba dance ahead of the Navratri festival celebrations in Ahmedabad, India, Sunday, September 21, 2014. Dedicated to the worship of the Hindu deity Durga, the Navratri festival involves several rituals, processes and community-oriented activities over a period of nine-nights, ten-days. This year the festival will take place between September 25 and October 3 in most Indian states and in many parts of the world among Indian Hindu communities. (Photograph credit: Sam Panthaky/AFP/Getty Images)


India’s Incredibly Powerful “Abused Goddesses” Campaign Condemns Domestic Violence

Save Our Sisters is an anti-sex trafficking initiative. This is their print campaign. Ad agency Taproot physically recreated scenes from old hand-painted images of Indian goddesses. Makeup was used to add bruises and wounds to the models before photographing them.

“Pray that we never see this day. Today, more than 68% of women in India are victims of domestic violence. Tomorrow, it seems like no woman shall be spared. Not even the ones we pray to.”

The campaign simply and effectively captures India’s most dangerous contradiction: that of revering women in religion and mythology, while the nation remains incredibly unsafe for its women citizens.

Last year alone, 244,270 crimes against women were reported in the country.

"Of all the Goddess’s manifestations, Kali is surely the most terrifying. Her black body is adorned with a garland of skulls and a girdle of severed arms. Her earrings are the corpses of children and her bracelets are serpents. She has blood smeared on her lips. Her favorite haunts are battlefields, where she becomes drunk on the hot blood of her victims." -Beauty, Power & Grace: The Book of Hindu Goddesses 

Goddess Durga… “the mother of the universe and believed to be the power behind the work of creation, preservation, and destruction of the world. Since time immemorial, she has been worshipped as the supreme power of the Supreme Being…”

Nav Durga, The Nine forms of Goddess Durga
The 9 names of Maa Durga are:
 1. Maa Shailputri
 2. Maa Brahmacharini
 3. Maa Chandraghanta
 4. Maa Kushmanda
 5. Maa Katyayani
 6. Maa Kalratri
 7. Maa Siddhidatri
 8. Maa Skandmata
 9. Maa Mahagauri


Slaying the Buffalo Demon

Depicting Durga in her most famous narrative—slaying the buffalo demon, Mahisha—this multi-limbed form of the goddess is a sculptural masterpiece. Flanked by two slain demons, Durga is shown grasping with her lower left hand the head of the demon that emerges from the animal that she has just decapitated. Durga’s right leg, raised above the ground and extended in an active lunging pose, is supported by her animal companion (vahana), the lion, who bends to her weight.