Kalki Koechlin performs her poetry for Unblushed
The actor lambasts the media’s commodification of women
Her 2014 monologue at the India Today Conclave established Kalki Koechlin as a spirited voice against sexism, which she assured us exists even in the privileged circles of celebrity:
“I want to smile with my gums showing,
Bare my teeth and
Contort my pretty face into wrinkles.
I want my crow’s feet to look sexy,
Or my salt and pepper hair,
Or my sun burnt skin,
I want to be George Clooney basically,
But with breasts and a muffin.”
The actor and writer performs another piece of activism with a 5-minute short, part of a series called Unblushed, which has previously featured Nimrat Kaur and Sayani Gupta. In the new video, produced by digital media company Culture Machine, Koechlin recites her poem, The Printing Machine, which makes the point that the print media, whose dominance is still unchallenged by the internet in India, is slowly deadening our capacity for empathy—through lurid tabloid headlines, voyeuristic details in reportage and the commodification of the female body that happens right alongside, in the ads. Using rhythmic repetition of the sounds of a printing machine and her own body as a kind of screen, Koechlin spells out what she finds most disturbing about what stares at her from the newsstand.