Representatives of various theatre groups and dancers who make up the Performing Arts Practitioners Collective, Chennai, have said that they will work together to evolve internal mechanisms to address sexual harassment in the performing arts space.
Members of the collective came together in Chennai last month, and discussed issues pertaining to sexual harassment, and ways to ensure safe spaces in theatre and performing arts practices in Tamil Nadu.
In a statement, the collective held that the issue of sexual harassment is very present in the performing arts arena. “We, the theatre practitioners, stand in solidarity with the survivors. We hope to contribute in any which way possible to the healing processes of the survivors“ , their statement read.
The collective also named two alleged offenders and another theatre practitioner for alleged inaction against the same and proposed that the members disassociate from these persons till they clear their names and address these allegations in a manner agreeable to all, especially those affected.
The collective further plans to draw up guidelines for a democratic, safe and open space in theatre rehearsals, shows, travels, and all other areas related to their working conditions, calling for it to be adopted among all the groups and members. “We will together evolve internal mechanisms to be alert and attentive to any such abuses in our respective groups, and address them. We will inform ourselves of the prevailing ground realities through informal surveys and collectively evolve, “ the statement said.