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The GendV Project

Urban Transformation and Gendered Violence in India and South Africa
Read more at: Philiswa Lila Artist-in-Residence
Philiswa Lila, ENKUNDLENI/poured healing, 2023, The Melrose Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

Philiswa Lila Artist-in-Residence

Philiswa Lila: Recent work ENKUNDLENI/Poured Healing: 2023, live performance stills The Melrose Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa Philiswa Lila - artist-in-residency at The GendV Project, has collaborated with ivukuvuku (born Chumani Mantanga), creating art installations and performances since...


Read more at: These Dry Bones Live: South Africa’s Foundation of Sexual Violence by Athinangamso Nkopo

These Dry Bones Live: South Africa’s Foundation of Sexual Violence by Athinangamso Nkopo

It may seem odd for an inquiry about current endemic sexual violence to do research in the archive going as far back as the 16th and 17th century. How can sifting through documents under themes such as gendered violence, race and gender structures shed light on our harrowing status quo? It seems...



Read more at: Furnace by Dr Poonam Tushamad
Furnace by Dr Poonam Tushamad

Furnace by Dr Poonam Tushamad

Written by Dr Poonam Tushamad, a Dalit-feminist writer, poet, academic and activist who currently teaches at BR Ambedkar College, University of Delhi. She is the author of several publications including the books ‘Madaari’ (2019) and ‘Hindi Dalit Sahitya Mein Jantantrik Mulya : Ek Adhyayan’ (2022...


Read more at: Field Reflections by Tumi Mampane
Tumi Mampane

Field Reflections by Tumi Mampane

Field Reflections by Tumi Mampane When I began my work as a research assistant for the GendV project I had no illusions about it being easy, not even as a person who is deeply embedded in Alexandra Township—its life, culture, and people. It can never be easy to tackle the issue of violence. So, I...




Read more at: Sanjay Srivastava: Burning of Thunberg’s images are symbolic warnings of possible fate that awaits woman seen as ‘too independent’

Sanjay Srivastava: Burning of Thunberg’s images are symbolic warnings of possible fate that awaits woman seen as ‘too independent’

18 February 2021

Prof Sanjay Srivastava writes for the Indian Express , ' The symbolic burning of public women also represents rising masculine anxiety regarding women who are seen to be independent and willing to engage in public debates.' Read the full article here. (Illustration by C R Sasikumar).






Project Updates

Local artists interpret research on GBV in exhibition: Sunday World

11 December 2022

"Academic research, art and dialogue come together in a study on gender-based violence (GBV) in South Africa and India, with local artist Philiswa Lila tasked with interpreting it in an exhibition. The research known as the GendV Project – which is headed by the University of Cambridge in collaboration with the University...

GendV Artist Philiswa Lila named on the Mail & Guardian's "Top 200 Young South Africans List 2022"

30 August 2022

Philiswa Lila has been named as one of the Mail & Guardian's "Top 200 Young South Africans List 2022", for her work as a Visual Artist and Storyteller. The Mail & Guardian writes; 'Lila is a visual artist and storyteller. She is influenced by the nuances of memory, brought about by the sensory explorations of...

Media News

Art Times: AT FEATURE: Unveiling the Symphony of Performance: The Melrose Gallery Orchestrates an Expanded Artistic Tapestry

18 September 2023

"Performance arts have long been underrepresented in South Africa, often overlooked due to the lack of financial benefits associated with hosting performance artworks in traditional gallery spaces. However, we recognize the profound role that performance plays in storytelling, idea presentation, and audience engagement on...

UK launches gender equality plan but critics call funding a ‘drop in the ocean’

8 March 2023

'Manali Desai, the head of Cambridge University’s sociology department and an expert on gendered violence in India and South Asia, said: “The FCDO needs to join up its strategy on women and girls to almost every facet of the current challenges facing areas receiving aid. These include poverty, climate change, war...

What is The GendV Project?

The GendV Project is an ESRC-funded Research Project exploring Urban Transformation and Gendered Violence in Delhi, India and Johannesburg, South Africa. It is based in the Department of Sociology at The University of Cambridge, and is led by Principle Investigator Dr Manali Desai.

Read more about the project here. 

Meet our team here. 

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