A fashion photoshoot in India depicting a woman being groped on a bus is being condemned for glamorizing the Delhi gang-rape of 2012. Shot by photographer Raj Shetye, the photos show a model being sexually assaulted by men sitting on a set resembling a bus. One image in the series called “The Wrong Turn” shows a man grabbing her shoulder while she looks away in disapproval and is pushing away another man. Another picture shows the model lying down while one man fondles her leg and the other holds her down.
— Vocativ (@vocativ) August 6, 2014
Many have lambasted the photographer as well as Behance, where the photos were posted before being removed, for its similarities to the rape and murder that rocked the nation, according to BBC. Shetye told BBC the photoshoot was not commentary about the Delhi gang-rape but rather "just a depiction of the situation of women in our country.”
— Story South Asia (@storysouthasia) August 5, 2014
In 2012, a 23-year-old woman was sexually assaulted while riding a bus in New Delhi, which sparked outrage in India and all over the world. Four of the convicted culprits of the gang-rape were sentenced with the death penalty and a fifth, who was a juvenile, is currently serving a three-year jail sentence. The medical student, whose name was not released, was dubbed Nirbhaya by the media, BBC reported, meaning “fearless” in Hindu.
After attracting attention on social media, the Mumbai-based photographer told Buzzfeed “this is in no way meant to glamorize the act, which was very bad. It’s just a way of throwing light on it.”
"It is not based on Nirbhaya," he said. "But being a part of society and being a photographer, that topic moves me from inside... I stay in a society where my mother, my girlfriend, my sister are out there and something like this can happen to them also."