The BBC has released its list of 100 most influential and inspiring women across the globe, and its a moment of pride as six Indian women got featured in this list. One such inspiring young lady is Aranya Johar.
Aranya Johar, a social media sensation, has become a household name because of her poem on various social issues. Her "Brown girl's guide series" has been consistently loved by youngsters and people across the age group.
With her inspiring poems, Aranya has used social media to draw attention to serious issues like gender equality, mental health and body positivity. She uses slam poetry to confront beauty standards. Her first released piece, “A Brown Girl's Guide to Gender” became a viral sensation and hit 1 million views within two days of its upload. Till a few years back, we had not realised the importance of the collaborative power of words and social media.
But suddenly, one day this girl in her black dress, standing fiercely in front of the mic, reading out a loud hard-hitting poem on misogyny and patriarchy changed everything.
She integrated slam poetry in Bollywood for the first time through her collaboration with Akshay Kumar for the movie ‘Padman’. Aranya has been a speaker at TEDxICTMumbai in April 2017. She has been invited and praised by various poets and foundations. She is recommended among the list of 10 women one must follow on social media along with Michelle Obama and Ashley Graham.
Her simple word of art was also lauded with hatred and she has been receiving death and rape threats. She was also called out as pseudo-feminist and hate-monger.
She collaborated with the spoken word collective-- Unerased Poetry and posted a video called, "The language of equality". The collective is also conducting a campaign called #PatriarchyKaPackup to smash the patriarchy and bring more girls to schools.
In March 2019, Johar had been invited to the G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council along with Emma Watson and French President Emmanuel Macron.
Interesting, she started writing these gender-centric poems in her early teens. Aranya performed for the first time in front of an audience when she was 12 years old. When she was in 7th standard, she was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).
Aranya has also the curated Blind Poetry Sessions, a series of poetry nights. Unlike other gigs, the Blind Poetry night takes place in a dark room, and the poets are anonymous. She is also the co-curator of another poetry event in the city, titled Throwback Thursday, wherein she asks poets to read out their first work as well as their most recent writing.
She also supported and presented a poem for Gender equality, Know your rights by Vivel in association with Aaj Tak and India Today. Aranya's video, 'To Bleed Without Violence' was a collaborative piece with WASH United which hit 7 million views over the weekend of the upload. She has also recited her poem for young enthusiasts of Harvard Model United Nations in 2017 at Hyderabad International Convocation Centre.
Interestingly, Aranya Johar has been featured on Rolling Stone and Harper Bazaar in 2017. She also performed at the SRCC Youth Conference on 22 September 2017. She has also been featured in the May edition of Teen Vogue. She has performed at the event of We The Women in association with UN Women on 9th and 10 December 2017.
She also became a part of Goalkeepers New York city 2018. She spoke at Goalkeepers in New York along with eminent personalities like Ed Sheeran, Melinda Gates, Bill Gates, Stephen Fry and many more.
It has been organised by the Gates Foundation and #ProjectEveryone who have been leading the way in raising awareness on the Global Goals and activating young people worldwide.
She has also been a part of SHEROES Summit 2018 which is a women's community platform which brings women to share their stories and inspire other women. Johar's understanding of misogyny and patriarchy at such a tender age is inspiring and powerful in its own way.
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