Lifestyle channel TLC has announced the launch of a bold new short-format series, The Poetist, which aims to give a platform to leading female artists from across sections of society to use their art to express and stand up for what they believe in.
The series will also feature on TLC’s YouTube page and social media channels. The Poetist will witness female celebrities from the world of Bollywood, television and social media take up issues that women in our society have faced for a long time and give expression in a hard-hitting, poetic format. After the successful first season of Queens of Comedy, India’s first talent hunt for female comedians, this will be the next offering from TLC that gives women a platform to express themselves. The channel has roped in Titan We and HP Racer as sponsors.
In a never-before-seen format, The Poetist on TLC will feature celebrities such as actor Swara Bhaskar, singer Shalmali Kolgade, writer and director Ashwini Iyer Tiwari, actor and writer Sayani Gupta and teen-poet Aranya Johar among others to talk about issues facing women in India today. These women, in their own words, will challenge society on controversial issues ranging from notions of ‘beauty standards for women’, ‘freedom of choice’, ‘touch and consent’ and ‘identity’ in a poetic format. The series aims to further the positive trend of women speaking up for themselves, and break free from the enforced shackles of society.
“The Poetist is a bold, new format to give voice to our young viewers. As the go-to destination for female millennials, we want women from across the country to talk about their issues openly and without fear. With this series, our aim is to inspire women to rise above the boundaries and expectations of society and make their voices heard,” said, Zulfia Waris, Vice-President, Digital and Premium Networks, Discovery Communications India. “This format is a first for Indian viewers and we chose poetry for its impact as a medium for expression. Delivered by self-made women from all walks of life, we are sure it will strike a chord with our target audience.”
Commenting on the series, Swara Bhaskar, said, “Young women often have to choose between what they Want to do and what is expected of them. As an actor, I’ve been lucky to have an outlet for expression, something that most women lack. The Poetist was an emotional and cathartic journey for me as I got to speak on behalf of all women on how we feel burdened by the restrictions society imposed on us. I hope more and more women will speak up and support each other in bringing about a lasting change.”
Swara Bhaskar, in a hard-hitting poetic response, exposes society’s hypocrisy when it comes to women and the ideal beauty standards that are forced upon them. The poem also brings out society’s judgmental attitudes towards women, no matter what they wear or look like. The constant struggle to live up to expectations, coupled with a lack of choice can break even the strongest of women, as Swara expresses in her own voice and words penned by spoken word poetess Vidhushi Chaddha, in the powerful video.
The theme underscoring the video is best explained by the line – ‘Conceal, remove…conceal, remove…conceal, remove…repeat!’. As the video closes with Swara asking, ‘To be, or not to be, that is…not up to you, darling!’, it shows how women are bereft of choice even when it comes to their own looks and bodies.
Watch these trailblazers on The Poetist on TLC and TLC India’s YouTube channel