Aravanis

Mythologically, in order to win the battle of Mahabharata, Arjuna’s son Aravan who was born to a Naga princess was chosen to be sacrificed. One of his last wishes was to be married for a night before he was killed. No woman would marry him, as she would be a widow next morning. Krishna turns himself into a female avatar, named Mohini and marries Aravan. Mohini becomes widow the next morning.

Transgender community from all over south India celebrates this moment in a small village Koovagam every year. Many marry the lord Aravan and later perform the rites of widowhood the very next morning.

This body of work is an imagination of this story in contemporary India and thinking through the political and social climate today that has become increasingly abusive towards diverse gender identities and sexualities. It is about gender that is always in flux so is our connection to our mythologies.

This project is a collaboration between various artists.