Take a nap in the park, ladies

Updated - February 28, 2015 05:32 am IST

Published - February 28, 2015 12:00 am IST - BENGALURU:

Fighting fear:‘Meet to Sleep’ is part of a series of programmesthat aims at reclaiming public spaces for women.

Fighting fear:‘Meet to Sleep’ is part of a series of programmesthat aims at reclaiming public spaces for women.

Many a woman taking a walk in the park would have envied men deep in slumber on benches or on the lawn. After all, sleeping in a park without attracting attention is the exclusive privilege of men.

But here is a project that promises to make this experience possible for women too.

Blank Noise, a volunteer-based project against street harassment of women, is organising a series of events where women meet in designated city parks, simply sleep for a couple of hours on a bench or on the lawn, and part ways after a discussion on their experience.

Reclaiming spaces

Called “Meet to Sleep”, it is part of a series of programmes aimed at reclaiming public spaces for women. Jasmeen Patheja, founder of Blank Noise Project, says, “It is also about fighting fear that is learnt and inherited. It urges participants, collectively, to unlearn fear, occupy spaces and claim visibility. Rather than policing or censoring women’s mobility, cities should be made safe and inclusive.”

She says that some ‘Action Heroes’ (as the women participants are called) find it impossible to sleep in public spaces, some “almost get into sleep mode” and some manage to fall asleep. “It is also a collective learning experience,” says Ms. Patheja.

A participant at an earlier event wrote in the Blank Noise blog that the experience “felt like self-assertive feminism, simply trying to claim one’s space and one’s personal freedom in public places.” She says that the “action-oriented” experience was “differently empowering” when compared to discussing or talking about things.

Saturday’s event

Blank Noise is organising one such event on Saturday. Those who want to participate can land at the venue with a mat, cushion, blanket, water and snacks.

There will be a co-ordinator to explain the guidelines. The two-hour session will start at 2 p.m. A similar event is being held in Mumbai too on Saturday.

The venue is not announced in advance, but women who want to participate can mailblurtblanknoise@gmail.comor call 9886840612.

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