Tanvee Nabar

all the kings men

all the kings men


I would really like to clear out my stand on this topic, clear out what exactly my costume was supposed to be. I was not supposed to be transgender. I was trying to depict through my costume a sort of extreme form of equality.Not an enforced equal status which is too communist an approach, but a sort of achieved state. In this state I envision  the presence of two genders (or more ,this is not important), male and female. However with the idea that a body is a body whether male or female and should be treated the same. Hence in clothing or attitude, roles or statuses, the relm of men and women will blur. Again this will not be law, but a permissable blending.

Hence my outfit, both drawing and K.R market attire, reflected this same belief. In my K.R market attire, I was portraying how by the teaming of a bindi and bangles with male attire can be a possible option for the future, for either men or women.


The typo workshop with mahendrabhai was amazing. we learnt 3 diffrent writing tools in 2 days. Including the reed pen, which i was very exited about.



The discussion was riddled with debate. It was intense and eye-opening.

One of the concepts that have stayed with me is that of all Events are Causes. I.e even an Effect, is a cause as on an infinite timeline an effect will cause another event which will be the cause of a new effect.

Another one is the idea that to really experience a place u need to be there fully  and to fully understand it you must look at it through the diffrent perspectives of mind, body and heart – i take this as analatycial self, emotional self and physical self.

The idea of innate body wisdom captivated my imagination. Its kind of connects itself to this idea that is part of the idea of reincarnation that the ‘soul’ comes with a lot of innate knowledge. Ofcourse these are very diffrent concepts rooted in very diffrent ideologies, but this idea of innate knowledge is very intresting.

Also the tool of questioning your ‘ofcourse’ responses i think will be very helpful in the coming weeks as well as in the long term , in terms of research and in just having a more unprejudiced approach to anything.

The tendency that humans live often trying to transcend existence is something i feel i really need to think about.


What was most intresting about the theater workshop for me is that even though i could hardly participate, i can still say that i benefitted from it.

Firstly, the theater excercise called ‘photograph’, really helped as a tool of performance – sculpting teamed with photograph helped us to construct a performance that was unique because its charecter was mobile, brief, interactive and still effective. I really liked how because we identified a particular problem on sunday, we modified our approach and were quite successful because of it.

It takes a lot to do impromptu in an alien space. Its even harder when we have also to illicit participation from the audience. But i found that my feelings of akwardness dissolved once i realised we were in fact actually getting responses. This is a little sad though – i think i still need a alot of validation in erms of performance.

An important node i think was the arguement about  ‘giving back’  and how we need’nt see it as changing or altering, but simply as sharing. This i think had a lot to do with our vigor on the last day.

The theater workshop was followed with a much needed talk with jyoti. Although heavy, i think the talk helped conclude what we had been doing very well. Jyoti put into perspective how various roles are infact performances of diffrent kinds which i think are all fueled by needs of diffrent kinds.

” All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players:” – W. Shakespaere


After the talk with Dr. Jyothi, it became clear that there are various dynamics to a performance that are seperate from it’s own dynamic nature.

Addressing the three aspects that she introduced, i would like to start by talking about the switchboard hybrid activity.

The activity started with simple projections of the pictures we had taken during our visits there. This relates to the third concept Dr. Jyothi talked about – the ethics of negotiating relationships. While ethics remain relative, it is important to respect certain universal ethics, which are not necessarily binding at all times but rather  fulfilling ways to sometimes conclude (especially in our case). As we were at the recieving end of so much knowledege and information from the public space and its people, it was only natural (and circumstantially ethical) to want to share or learning.         In the second half , we carried out an interactive activity. This was very  performance and since it was more the performance of the audience, participation based. This therefor used the idea of body as site of discourse. The participants had to use their bodies to interact with the projections – creating a dialogue between themselves and the projection.

Finally the sculpting excecise with Deepak. This used all three concepts. The idea of performance as a fresearch metadology, as through the audience’s performance  and their reactions to ours, we were able learn the point of view of the people. The idea of the body as a site for discourse also used as the audience had to interpret diffrent body gestures and actions in terms of a freeze frame photograph and hence again use the body to  dialogue. The third concept about ethics was alos pulled in as using this particular medium with these people was appropriate as they share a certain comfort level with us. Also it gave them a forum to express themselves and was our way of giving back.

My reflections


5 responses to “Tanvee Nabar

  1. Avnee

    Tanvee i really like what you’ve written. Also your figure drawing was really nice. 🙂

  2. geetu

    “I was trying to depict through my costume a sort of extreme form of equality”

    Tanvee, since you could not do the assignment we will consider this response of yours.

    From what you say, you seem to agree that there are categories between male and female that have an equal right to be ‘visually observed’ in public. Perhaps this would also be encompassed in the definition of what you refer to above as an extreme form of equality. Do you think that there are other visual codes that exist to identify these categories? What if a set of bangles or a bindi were paired with these other codes- what kind of image would you then see asserting its right in public view?

  3. geetu

    Tanvee- what are the other combinations that you could possibly use in your dress? A saree and a turban; dhoti and a bikini top, burkha bottom and spiked hair; bright red lipstick on a macho manly clothing, tight short skirt on a big girl?
    What I am asking you to think of are the codes associated with visual aspects of clothing, how they help create and reinforce permissable categories and make it difficult for new ones to assert themselves.

  4. tanveenabar

    Certain clothes are teamed together as part of a sort of clothing etiquette. One of the visual codes that are very apparent, are the difference in the visual aspects of clothing of different religions.
    Imagine teaming a veil-less burkha with a bindi. Or a veil with jeans. This is because these four items of clothing are so iconic for the faiths they represent, that they carry ‘heavy baggage’. Due to this, they are restricted to their categories and cannot be used outside them, without causing unpleasant if not violent reactions.

    Taking into consideration the red lipstick with macho clothes example…if you notice thats only not okay on a man. However the same category of clothes on a woman would be perfectly fine. Therefore some inter-category mixing is gender specifically either okay or not okay.

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