FLORIANE DE LASSÉE - MODERN SATI
Jan 12, 2017 — Feb 25, 2017
When the Indian woman marries, she becomes the property of her in-laws and no longer belongs to her family. Ancestrally, if the husband died, she had to follow him into the afterlife. Sati is the act of a Hindu widow cremated on the funeral pyre of her husband to fulfill her role as wife.
The prohibition of this age-old practice in 1829 was not enough to give Indian women a family or social weight. Since then, the widow is no longer burnt at the stake, as can be seen in “Around the World in 80 Days” by Jules Verne, but the tradition continues perniciously.
In the best cases, she becomes the slave of her stepmother, or, unfortunately, a fire in the kitchen, a fall from stairs or an acid attack will happen accidentally. Giving to the mother in law the honor of raising orphaned grandchildren.
In a broader sense, women_ widows or not _remain subject to the diktats of a changing society. When the husband’s death, after a rape or a divorce or for a simple financial independence desire, women often have no choice but to physically or socialy disappear. Their status remains unchanged in strangled by traditions. It is the modern Sati.
Each photograph synthetizes, in a studied composition, symbolic elements and gains depth which inspires introspection and meditating to the spectator. The artist allegorizes by the combination of the purifying fire, the crepuscular light corresponding to time for thinking, a decorum marked with loneliness ; all calls for an awareness of the struggle to the respect of the fundamental human rights.
This deceptive progress forces us to look again at the image and reveals the esthetic strength of the photographs taken in 2016 in Rajasthan (state in the North-West of India) where Floriane de Lassée has been to bear witness to the alarming status of women.