Anything but a hole
A little crevice filled with a pool of stories that range from being sexualized, neglected, praised or fueled with cosmic power. What is the true form of the Bellybutton?
Through my research and personal experience, I realised that the bellybutton is something we all share regardless of gender, however, in India the navel is seen as a sexualised object on women and has major social implications on how a woman is treated. Growing up in this patriarchal system, I have become highly aware of how people perceive my navel where I was very ashamed of showing it. However, I realised that people in western countries do not think about their navel at all.
“Anything but a hole” provides the Bellybutton a platform to express its journey and the different identities it holds in an interactive audio-haptic installation using five navel sculptures paired with wearable haptic belts.The installation is pushing the idea of storytelling in a tactile way where the stories of the bellybutton can be sensed by our sixth sense otherwise known as gut feeling which is located behind the navel. The vibration in the navel resonates throughout the body and stays beyond the installation, fulfilling the main goal of the work; to understand body politics and sexualization of women in India by the bellybutton and understanding the importance of one’s own bellybutton by bringing intention and attention to it.
I invite you to connect to your bellybutton to lean in and listen, feel and experience a form of tactile storytelling that can resonate into our bodies to reflect on the autonomy of one’s body and rediscover the importance of their little Bellybutton.