Love Matters India launches India’s first 360 / VR film on safe, legal abortion

  • The film titled ‘I Am Not Alone’ aims to break the stigma and shame geared towards women when they choose to go for an abortion 

  • The launch and screening will take place at Anti Social, Hauz Khas in New Delhi on 27th September 2018 

  • The launch will be preceded by a panel discussion attended by key activists, healthcare providers and change makers 

To mark the Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion, on 28th September, Love Matters, India first digital platform on sexual health, is launching a new campaign calling for support for women seeking abortion.  
#IAmNotAlone – kya doge mera saath?

Love Matters — I Am Not Alone — Kya doge mera saath

As part of the campaign, Love Matters is launching India’s first 360/VR film on the issue of abortion, in Delhi on the 27th of September, 2018. The film ‘I Am Not Alone’ uses virtual reality medium to narrate the powerful story of Mehak — a young girl, who was not alone, when she made a decision to abort. The short film has been conceptualized, scripted and produced by Love Matters India and directed by Gayatri Parameswaran from NoWhereMedia.

                  

I wasn’t ready to be a father at 22 #IAmNotAlone – kya doge mera saath?

The film, along with the campaign #IAmNotAlone – kya doge mera saath? is geared towards calling on partners, family members, friends, colleagues, doctors and media to support women when they take a decision to seek abortion and for women to step up and share their abortion experiences, enabling other women to take decision for their bodies, health and lives.

Abortion in India continues to be a stigmatised issue, often surrounded by shame, stigma, and silence at different levels – be it at personal, community, or institutional and structural level. 

This prevents many women from accessing safe abortion, forcing them towards shady clinics and inexperienced practitioners, putting their lives at risk.

The shame and stigma about abortion in India also prevents women who have had an abortion and/or are seeking an abortion from speaking out openly about their experiences and inhibits people in their lives from coming forward and sharing their own experiences of helping and supporting women during this process, thus reinforcing the cycle of silence and stigma around abortion. 

Speaking about the need for such a campaign, Vithika Yadav, Head of Love Matters India says, “At Love Matters India, we look at the issue of abortion in context of a woman’s right to her own body. We spent a lot of time working on the concept of the film taking into account personal narratives of women who had undergone abortion. By staying away from the expected narrative of stigma and shame, the film charts a new, bold path, calling for conversations around abortion in India and across the world, that help generate support for women when they decide what’s right for their bodies."

Sharing her experience while making the film, Director of the film, Gayatri Parameswaran said, “The film, ‘I Am Not Alone’ is a result of many conversations with women who have had abortions. It's about what they went through but it's also about what they would have liked to have happen. I hope the film helps us understand the needs of all women and can takes us forward in building a supporting environment for women seeking abortion."

“The film ‘I Am Not Alone’ gives me so much hope. I believe it can certainly help other people in understanding how they can contribute as a responsible society in letting women exercise their choices related to their bodies, especially safe abortion," said Kiran, the actor playing the protagonist. 

The film is an effort to shatter the collective silence that exists around abortion, and scripts a fresh new narrative of building stronger and diverse support systems for women to be able to choose and access abortion, free of judgment, prejudice, and stigma.

As part of this campaign Love Matters India has partnered with Anti Social – a chain of pubs/restaurants in New Delhi, to install 360 film viewing booth with VR headsets. The launch will kickstart with a panel discussion on the topic of safe and legal abortion, followed by the screening of the film.

Under the campaign, Love Matters has also produced powerful friend, partner and parent video testimonials in support of abortion from real life stories that will be aired at the screening. Love Matters has also put together linguistic advisories for media and health professionals for changing the negative conversation on abortions. 

“Love Matters will send these to editors and health professionals across the country so that we can bring about a real and qualitative change to perceptions on abortion," says Yadav. “I would also urge all young people to join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook and other social media using the hashtag #IAmNotAlone."

To know more about the Love Matters campaign, please visit:  https://www.facebook.com/events/1071720966317436/

About Love Matters

Love Matters is a global multimedia project engaging young people to talk about love, sex and relationships, with a presence in 5 countries around the world: India, Kenya, China, Latin America (Mexico and Venezuela) and Egypt. Love Matters believes love, sex and relationships should be a right, a choice, and a pleasure. The first step towards making this possible and having an impact on young people’s lives is offering access to information.  

LM India is the first bilingual sexual reproductive health (SRH) site to offer comprehensive youth-friendly information in English and Hindi. Since the launch of the bilingual site on January 14, 2014, it has had over 20 million yearly visitors, and has the current website monthly reach of 2 million visitors. Their Facebook community has a following of more than 1.4 million making it the most popular sexual health Facebook page in India. 

Love Matters India’s work on safe abortion

In September of 2015, LM India executed the #StepIntoOurShoes campaign, which was a part of the global campaign to mark the Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortions. This campaign was an attempt to create awareness around abortion as human rights issue and normalize conversations around the same.

In 2017, we launched the campaign #Choice Over Stigma — Reproductive Rights Matter, Choice Matter, Women Matter geared towards recognising, acknowledging, respecting and celebrating all the diverse choices that women make pertaining to their bodies, sexuality and reproduction including the right to access safe and legal abortion.

Disclaimer: This article has not been edited by Deccan Chronicle and is taken from a syndicated feed. Photos: NewsVoir.

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