Let the record show that here at Audrey, we have no problem with creative editorial fashion shoots that showcase photographers and designers who think outside the box. We do however, have a major issue with offensive photo shoots that depict the scenes of a real-life gang rape incident that occurred in New Delhi, India, in 2012, where a 23-year-old woman was brutally raped, tortured and murdered on board a bus home.
This pretty much goes without saying, but it’s just an incredibly insensitive idea to have a rape-themed photo shoot in a country where 93 women are raped every single day. In fact, rape happens so frequently there that Indian women have created anti-rape clothing to protect themselves. Clearly, this is still very much an ongoing problem that has yet to be resolved.
Mumbai-based photographer Raj Shetye, the man responsible for the controversial photos series titled “The Wrong Turn,” claims that the photo shoot was not an act of glamorizing the “Nirbhaya” case (Hindi word for “fearless,” a nickname given to the 23-year-old victim to protect her identity), but rather as a way to raise awareness for the safety of women in India.
“The message I would like to give is that it doesn’t matter who the girl is,” Shetye defended himself in an interview with Buzzfeed. “It doesn’t depend on which class she belonged in — it can happen to anyone.”
I don’t know if you see what I see, but those photos seem to be an exact, literal representation of glamorizing a truly horrific event.
What do you think? Are you as outraged as we are?
Photos courtesy of Refinery29.