Melanie Dornier photographs, 2013-2016 1.0 Linear Foot — 2 boxes — 110 color inkjet prints — 11 3/4 x 8 inches
Collection consists of two documentary photography series by Melanie Dornier taken in India. "Mahila Thana: All Women Police Station" is comprised of 56 color digital prints. The photographs - taken during 2016 - record daily life inside the walls of the All Women Police Station of Gurugram, Haryana. The 54 color digital prints in "Punch My Face: Women's Boxing in India, document the experiences of Meena Kumari, a wife, mother, buffalo owner, police officer, and boxer, between 2013 and 2016.
In an artist's statement Dornier describes that in 2012, "...the safety issues of the Indian women and gender violence were brought to the fore by the news of the gang rape and death of a young student in New Delhi, India. Since then funding and action plans have been implemented all around the country. In Gurugram, the millennium city in the state of Haryana, it was decided to open an All Women Police Station (AWPS) as in each of Haryana's districts and this was completed in August 2015. The project 'Mahila Thana,' which is 'All Women Police Station' in Hindi, documents the daily life inside the walls of the AWPS of Gurugram."
On "Punch My Face," Dornier reflects that, "Meena Kumari was born in December 1982 to a modest rural family. Now she is reaching the end of her boxing career and she hopes to soon become a police inspector. In 2001, Meena was one of the first Indian women to become a boxer and enjoyed visibility on the international scene. Her first major fight was confronting her father who believed boxing was not a respectable activity for a woman. Despite this Meena worked harder and harder and quickly reached the national and international stage in the flyweight category (51KG). Back then, female boxers were trained with young boys due to the shortage of women in the ring...at the end of 2016 and at the end of this photo documentary, we see Meena in the first months of her third pregnancy."
Dornier is the winner of the 2017 Bettye Lane Award for Feminist Photography, sponsored by the Archive of Documentary Arts and the Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture.
Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts and the Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture at Duke University.