Draw Your Way Home

Ratna, Rozella, Punnagai, Nupurasa and Rupa

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From the curator:

To feel good in your body is an act of resistance. Where and when was the last time your body truly felt comfortable? Working with women who champion intersectional body autonomy in the Malaysian digital space, Rupa asks these questions through the creation of a collage journal that pairs deconstructed images from magazines with text prompts for reflection. Draw Your Way Home is a space for exploration, a platform for play, an invitation to a collective effort to listen to and recognise the language of our bodies. 

From the storyteller:

What does it mean for individuals and organisations to advocate for body positivity and self-acceptance without understanding the intuitive, unwritten language of our own bodies? What might a community, society, world where we’re listening to our bodies look like? After all, it’s a fundamental human right to have agency over our own bodies.

The work also seeks to make visible a community that came together on a digital platform, forming in comments and DMs on Instagram, capturing that connection and comprehension on paper. Each section begins with a story about an individual, then offers prompts to the reader to create and communicate with their body. Through an Unplugged session, my collaborators and I brought that community together for a day of vulnerability and celebration.

Draw Your Way Home is a story about her stories. It reassembles images of bodies that were once filtered through patriarchal and capitalist lenses, to form playful and inquisitive new forms. It knows that besides claiming space externally, we need to look within to ask our own bodies: what do we truly need? What does it mean to be at home in our bodies? And, when many of us share the drawings made in our copies of the journal, what revelations might all these works of art offer when brought together?



To submit scans of journal pages, go to www.skinandsoul.art/submit




Rupa Subramaniam
Ratna Devi
Rozella Mahjhrin
Punnagai Krishnan

Art assistant
Swit Marie


Graphic designer and illustrator
Sunny Kumari


Rupa remembers her first argument with her mother. She wanted to play on her grandmother’s porch, shirtless. “Cannot, because you’re a girl.” Three decades later, she’s still asking the same question hoping for a different answer. In her career as an artist and arts organiser, she has worked on creative projects that bring awareness to women’s rights to choose best for themselves. Protesting against the cultural policing of saree (the traditional attire for Indian women) and terminating the stigma against abortion are, among others, her ways of initiating Shakti (feminine energy in Hinduism). More of her Malaysian feminist artwork can be found at skinandsoul.art


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