The project took me to the streets of Mumbai and Toronto, stopping aunties, asking them about their style and documenting their outfits. The project blew up and attracted a large following. Turning the lens on an often talked about, but never documented, sense of style really struck a chord for so many people.
Yes, some of what they say is problematic, like shadeist shit about fair skin, but some of what they say and do, and how they dress is unique and special and important. They hold it down each and every day. We forget about their labour, their strength, their fierceness. I wanted to turn around this hating on them, celebrate their swag instead of slag them. In this way, Upping the Aunty is a feminist project.
How has this project brought you closer to becoming you?
This project has helped me understand how notions of “community” actually plays a big part in my work. How are communities formed? Who is invited in, and who is left out? Does community foster a sense of belonging?
It has also helped me claim a certain light-heartedness and humour in my work, to celebrate and laugh at ourselves as a strategy of resistance to the many oppressions we live with.
Pay it Forward: who or what has recently changed the way you viewed women, culture and/or street fashion?
Chinatown Pretty, Indian Street Style by Abhimanyu, Prolific Toronto artist, Vivek Shraya’s fashion, Sari by LaWhore Vagistan featuring Auntie Kool Jams.
See more of Meera's work on her portfolio site.