Akathya: The lives of 8 trans-women through fashion

A story of inexplicable beauty that emanates from deep within the soul. We visit the lives of eight transgender people, empowered despite life’s trials and a phoenix before its tribulations. A call to action campaign where we salute the power that is the transgender.
“Like racism and all forms of prejudice, bigotry against transgendered people is a deadly carcinogen. We are pitted against each other in order to keep us from seeing each other as allies. Genuine bonds of solidarity can be forged between people who respect each other’s differences and are willing to fight their enemy together. We are the class that does the work of the world and can revolutionize it. We can win true liberation.” - Leslie Feinberg, Transgender Activist, and Author.
The Akathya campaign idea came through my mother in law who works very closely for the empowerment of the transgender community. It was her thought to uplift them and our motto of ‘Shanti for Everyone’ that brought forward this campaign.
Our idea is to bring forward a sense of confidence in ourselves and be proud of what we are. It’s to bring transparency in a society where we are not judged by our birth or status or color but for the innate talent we possess. It is a call for participation campaign, an opportunity for both us and the transgender community to jointly work on this endeavor for a fresh look.
The sarees that we selected for this campaign are a projection of boldness and strength. They are very strong vertical lines that portray a sense of being present and cannot be missed by the world. It is an antonym to subtlety and being hidden under the shadow of any design. The colors support our intent in being loud and clear. We also tried to level our colors very near to the multicolor flag of the LGBT community. For this part of the campaign we have only used silk fabrics to give it the glaze and shimmer which the thought requires.”, says Amrit Shah, CEO Shanti Banaras.
As dual forces meet and diverse energies unite, Shanti celebrates co-existence, acceptance, and the need to love all without prejudices. The featured people are the perfect examples of how despite being unaccepted of their very own identity they chose to rise above and mark a place for themselves. This campaign is a celebration of a world open to opportunities, a life lived with hope, and celebrating souls that never surrendered.