February 13, 2014

Is True Love Colour Blind?

Our love reveres—and transcends—differences

By Shiyani Gilbert

When I met Ben for the first time I knew that he was very special. I felt his heart, and I felt his love and passion for God. A month after we met, he proposed and I had on my finger a precious ring passed down from his great grandmother. 

A year after, in 2009, the two of us became one when we said, “We do.” 

As two individuals from different nationalities, cultures, traditions and experiences, and having different expectations, there have been sparks, and fireworks, at times. It’s not just that we come from different walks of life, but the very simple fact that I am a female and Ben is male. We are wired differently. What floats my boat does nothing to his. Through constant communication, understanding and selflessness, we are learning to love each other better.

Our love for each other transcends colour. What makes Ben amazing is what he is made of. He is a man of honour, a man of love, a man of gentleness and courage, a man of respect and loyalty, and a man of his word. He can be green for all that I care, as long as he is my Ben whom I love. 

Having said that, we have discovered some of the differences amongst colours. I had never known what sunburn really looks like until I met Ben, and Ben didn’t realise how scars could take years to go away on darker skin. I don’t bruise readily, if at all, whereas Ben turns pink and blue quite easily. These differences make our life much more interesting and add to the excitement of our discovery.

We have had our fair share of inputs from others, which have not always been encouraging – opinions that “we should stick to our own kind,” and comments that question the reasons for our marriage, such as a British passport being a deciding factor. At times it did feel like we had a lot to prove. But very soon, the significant overtook the needless, and all that mattered was “us.”

The story goes on as we so look forward to this Valentine’s Day, just another day, and another reason to let us know how much we love each other, and celebrate this gift of love we are blessed with. In a world of temporariness, we are blessed with something lasting; in a world of division, we are united as one; in this world of doubt we have trust and in a world divided by colour, we live blind in the safety of love. 

February 3, 2014

Hue: A Matter of Colour, features the Dark is Beautiful Campaign at the International Film Festival, 2014

February, 2014 

HUE: A MATTER OF COLOUR screening at the International Film Festival, Mumbai

The Dark is Beautiful Campaign is featured in this documentary with a story that reveals the toxic effects of skin colour bias in the country

Chennai, 1st February 2014: Sepia Films, Canada and Women of Worth, the Chennai based NGO is proud to announce the screening of documentary film HUE: A MATTER OF COLOUR at the Mumbai International Film Festival on 4th February 2014, at 11am at the TATA Theatre.  The film is directed by the acclaimed Vic Sarin, an Indian born Canadian-American film director, producer and cinematographer who has to his credit films like Partition, Margaret’s Museum, Left Behind and Dancing in the Dark.  HUE had its world premiere at the Vancouver International Film Festival in front of a sold out crowd. 

Hue, which was filmed by Vic Sarin in over 10 countries, including many regions in India, is a personal heart-felt investigation into the history and often-tragic effects of colourism – the phenomenon whereby people within the same ethnic group discriminate against each other based on differences in skin tone.  Sarin travels across the globe to discuss this complex cross-cultural social issue with individuals whose lives it affects.  What Sarin discovered was more than just eye opening, “Having the spectrum of different shades of skin is what gives us the richness in human beauty.  Each and every shade is worth worshiping.”

Sarin is excited about having the film’s international premiere in Mumbai, for several reasons, “Well the story is relevant to my birthplace, it is a personal story and I feel that the it is only right that the film steps out internationally on this stage, as I am sure this story will be especially interesting to an Indian audience."

Women of Worth’s founder Kavitha Emmanuel who launched the Dark is Beautiful campaign in 2009, said,  In 2012 we  received an invitation from Sepia Films in Canada to participate in this documentary that features the issue of colourism across different cultures around the globe. We were happy to have been featured in this documentary directed by Mr Vic Sarin that brings to light an issue that has been swept under the carpet for several decades.

With this documentary the DISB campaign gives another opportunity for India to seriously consider the implications of the belief that a person’s worth is measured by the fairness of their skin.

The  Dark is Beautiful campaign went viral on social media since 2013 with celebrities like Nandita Das, AnuHasan, TannishthaChatterjee, ShekharKapur, Wilbur Sargunaraj, RupinderNagra, Vishaka Singh, Khushboo and others backing the campaign. 

‘The story of Sapna Abraham featured in the film is representative of India’s obsession with fair skin’ added Ms. Emmanuel. “Her story is what convinced me to initiate the campaign in 2009. We are talking about real life experiences of people as we address this issue.”

About Vic Sarin and Sepia Films
Vic Sarin is one of Canada's most celebrated Directors of Photography, receiving numerous accolades including Genie, Gemini and Emmy nominations and awards among others. He is the recipient of the prestigious Kodak Lifetime Achievement Award for having created some of Canadian cinema's most moving and memorable images.
Sepia Films is a feature film production company specializing in international co- production, with a mandate to make quality, commercially viable feature films for the global marketplace. Based in Vancouver, Canada, Sepia focuses on telling great stories in unique ways and in a variety of genres to make movies that resonate with audiences both domestically and abroad.

About WOW: Women of Worth (WOW) is a network empowering women to be agents of change. Based in Chennai, WOW trains students in soft skills such as media literacy, gender issues and personality development. WOW initiated the “Dark is Beautiful” campaign in 2009.

Media Contact:
Anita Samuel: +91-9003222851,
Email: darkisbeautiful@womenofworth.in