In yet another strong move from the Women in Cinema Collective, 15 of its members have come out with a statement explaining why they had never become part of AMMA (Association of Malayalam Movie Artists).
The statement signed by 15 female actors including Amala Akkineni, Ranjini Pierre, Sajitha Madambil and Kani Kusruti, says they realised AMMA as an organisation cannot be trusted from the way it approached the sexual assault on their colleague in February 2017.
In a strongly worded statement shared on WCC's Facebook page, the female actors cited eight reasons why they chose to abstain from the most powerful body of the Malayalam film industry.
The reasons are as follows:
1. In an industry where there is not even a concept of equal pay, the act of imposing Rs 1 lakh as membership fee is neither pro people nor democratic.
2. The way AMMA approached the issue of sexual assault of one of our colleagues, shows that their decisions cannot be trusted.
3. The silence that the organisation (AMMA) generally maintains towards the founding members of WCC, and the issues they raise, are precarious and irresponsible. There is no other option but to reject an organisation which is not capable of a healthy and ideological debate.
4. The attitude of the organisation towards women was clearly portrayed in the retrogressive skit which was presented in the recent celebration of AMMA, and in their move to take back an actor accused in a case of sexual violence.
5. The history of the organisation; which has been scripted together by fans associations and star centered power coteries, has convinced us that there is no possibility of a democratic system paving way for a debate in the near future.
6. We also understand that star personalities who head the body are not capable of reconstructing it in a way which would incorporate women with self-esteem, and to respect their work place.
7. Other than using women as show pieces, the organisation has not attempted to ensure their participation in its responsibilities and decision making.
8. We firmly declare that we don’t want to be part of an organisation that is anti-human.
"We are committed to open all the needed ways for the coming generation to create timely art which is beyond caste, religion, gender and factionalism through movies, a medium Malayalis immensely love," the statement further said.
The statement has been issued by actors Abhija Sivakala, Amala Akkineni, Archana Padmini, Darsana Rajendran, Divya Gopinath, Divya Prabha, Jolly Chirayath, Kani Kusruti, Sajitha Madathil, Ranjini Pierre, Samyuktha Nambiar, Santhy Balachandran, Shylaja Ambu and Sujatha Jannnethri.
The ultimate aim, the statement says, is to create a space to approach movies as a medium and an art with more care, respect and trust.