News & Events
Untouchables of India: A Photographic Documentary
The University of San Diego is featuring a photographic exhibit by School of Peace Studies alumna, Vivien Francis ('10). "Untouchables of India: A Photographic Documentary about Caste Issues and Human Rights Abuses" highlights the Dalit (untouchable) community in India, the abuses they suffer and their efforts to advocate for their rights. The exhibit received support from USD's Center for Inclusion and Diversity and the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies.
Francis was first introduced to the Dalit while enrolled in the Peace and Justice Studies program. To complete her international internship, she spent three months working with Navsarjan, a grassroots Dalit organization dedicated to ensuring human rights for all. Navsarjan's mission is to eliminate discrimination based on untouchability practices; ensure equal status and opportunities for all, regardless of caste, class or gender; and to ensure the rule of law. While working with Navsarjan, Francis photographed events and abuses against Dalits, with the intention of using the images as a tool for advocacy.
Francis states, "I am honored to be able to give a voice to those who are currently not allowed to speak for their own rights."
According to Francis, the documentary project has three stages. Stage 1 is the photo exhibit itself, which will travel to other university campuses after it closes at USD. Stage 2 involves raising funds to print and distribute 1,000 photo books (view a copy of the book). Stage 3 involves using the printed photo books to raise awareness and inspire advocacy for equal rights for the Dalit community.
The exhibit is open to the public and is on display through Sept. 23, 2011 in the Hahn University Exhibit Hall.
To learn more about this project, please visit www.vivienfrancis.com