In 2015, she broke the Internet with Kodaikanal Won’t, a music video addressing mercury pollution in the hill town. Now, ‘raptivist’ Sofia Ashraf is back to take on the Internet with the series Sista From The South on Culture Machine’s channel, Blush.
Says Sofia about her latest venture, which has strong opinions on myriad issues: “Sista From The Southis Sofia Ashraf being Sofia Ashraf. The South is bursting with talented content creators but it doesn’t always get the attention it deserves.”
This, she explains, is her chance to bring that to the limelight.
Sofia, who was brought up in a traditional South Indian household, grew up with a spark of rebellion in her eyes and a touch of hot pink highlights in her hair. After quitting her corporate advertising job, she’s been channelling her energy into creating content with a message.
With a tongue-in-cheek sense of humour, an unapologetic voice and an eye for engaging content, Sofia is exploring new mediums of artistic expression.
Sketch comedy, music videos, spoken word and short films are some of the formats we can expect to see from this series. The first from the series, a music video called Tam-Brahm Boy, which was released yesterday, objectifies a typical Tamil Brahmin boy using South Indian stereotypes.
Sofia says there’s more to this video than meets the eye — beneath the camp disco beats and South Indian clichés lies an idea: “Women in this country are denied their sexual urges; this song is an unapologetic expression of primal desires. A woman is singing about her sexual urges — it isn’t an item-number, neither is it a vamp at the mic. It might be acceptable for a guy to do this, but a girl singing about how she wants to kiss a boy sounds pretty outrageous. I want to take the outrageousness out of it and make people see that it’s normal. I hope, over time, it becomes acceptable for Indian women to speak out about our passions, and our sexuality stops being demonised.”
With feminist overtones, the idea is to get more than a laugh out of these videos. “Sista From The Southwill raise a few eyebrows, get a few laughs and make people think. With a lot of interesting artistes to collaborate with, I’m excited about what’s to come,” says Sofia.