Dipanwity Biwas

Dipanwita Biswas, a postgraduate student from India, explored her identify through two cultural tropes.

Dipanwita Biswas, an international postgraduate student from India, joined the Social Design Lab and was supervised by Nan O’Sullivan, the programme director for Design for Social Innovation and the coordinator of the Lab.

Dipa’s thesis, ‘Are we There Yet: Gender Equality–Myth or Reality’, parallels two of the dominant cultural tropes that formed her worldview as a child; Wonder Woman and the Indian mythological goddess Durga.

“One of the objectives in my study was to parallel the Western female superhero Wonder Woman and the indigenous Indian goddess Durga to argue that, despite education and modernisation, the duplicity of the relationship between power and gender continues to be as widespread in the Western modern world as it is in within the social constructs of a society still heavily bound by ancient cultural constructs.”

Considering the visual construction and depiction of idealised and stereotypical feminine visual forms, Dipa unwrapped both Wonder Woman and Durga and the contexts from which they grew to then challenge the translations and expectations of the female gender offered by these well-established allegories and used new digital technologies to assist in shifting the narrative.