In the event Mumbai-based photographer Raj Shetye was in need of attention he has certainly found it with the release of his fashion spread, ‘The Wrong Turn.’ The question though is has Raj Shetye warranted the right attention and has he served to highlight the tensions between men and women or rather glorified gang rape, a hot topic in lieu of recent dialectics in India.
The fashion shoot itself depicts glorified images of a woman feigning to fend off her advancing men. Whether they are suitors, aggressors or just playing a ‘fun in the know game’ is not necessarily known. Which is to suggest Shetye probably elected to create an ambiguous photo shoot on person knowing full well that he’d merit controversy.
In fact, social media users have come to suggest that the photoshoot was based on the 2012 Delhi rape case. Nevertheless, Raj Shetye told Buzzfeed that,’It is not based on Nirbhaya,’ and that ‘This is in no way meant to glamorize the act, which was very bad. It’s just a way of throwing light on it.’
Asked why the models were dressed in high-end designer wear, the photographer responds: ‘The message I would like to give is that it doesn’t matter who the girl is, it doesn’t depend on which class she belongs to – it can happen to anyone.We stay in a society where rich people roam in cars, and poor people who roam in public transport are in danger. It was my intent to mix these two things which are pretty apart from each other and make aesthetically strong images about it.’
In his interview with buzzfeed Shetye would add that the idea for the shoot struck him two years ago, yet it took him several months to execute because he ‘didn’t want to create something irresponsible.’
The photographer also clarified that while the garments worn by the models are all made by top designers, none of them were credited publicly because the intent of this shoot was not commercial gain. ‘The concept is my baby,’ he said, ‘and the aim is to create art that will gather some reaction in society.’
Something that the photographer can unequivocally affirm he has managed to do…
The following facebook thread appeared under photographer Fabien Charuau’s Facebook post about ‘The Wrong Turn.’