Poulomi Basu (IN)

Blood Speaks: A Ritual of Exile

29 April 2022 - 22 May 2022
Image: Poulomi Basu, from the series [Blood Speaks: A Ritual of Exile], 2013–16. Courtesy the artist and
TJ Boulting.

Image: Poulomi Basu, from the series Blood Speaks: A Ritual of Exile, 2013–16. Courtesy the artist and TJ Boulting.


29 April 2022 - 22 May 2022


Rodda Lane (outdoor) [i]
Rodda Ln, Melbourne
24 hrs




Wheelchair access



Blood Speaks: A Ritual of Exile is a transmedia activism project that reveals the social, emotional, and physical consequences of normalised violence against women perpetrated under the guise of tradition in Nepal and India.

This violence is grounded in the impurity of a woman’s menstrual blood. Menstruating women undergo Chaupadi, a ritualised exile, which keeps menstruation shrouded in mystery and taboo—a weapon to shame women into subservience. Women are seen as “impure” during this time, and forced to stay for several days in small outdoor sheds, often a far and difficult walk away from their homes. Isolated and unprotected women are left in incredibly dangerous circumstances, crimes against them hidden, under reported, and unresolved.

Poulomi Basu is an Indian artist, photographer, and activist who has become widely known for advocating for the rights of women. These gripping photographs of the women have traveled the world educating new audiences about the harsh realities of this practice.

Curated by Photo Australia

Presented in partnership with RMIT University

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Founding Partners
  • Bowness Family Foundation
  • Naomi Milgrom Foundation
Major Government Partners
  • City of Melbourne Arts Grants Program
  • Creative Victoria
Major Partners
  • Maddocks

PHOTO Australia respectfully acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands upon which we work and live, and the rich and diverse Indigenous cultures across what is now called Australia. For over 60,000 years, Indigenous arts and culture have thrived on this sacred land, and we honour Elders and cultural leaders past and present. This was, and always will be, Aboriginal land.

01–24 March