The Printing Machine

Leo Burnett once famously said “Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read”. Perhaps that is the philosophy followed by media houses offline and online, to sell their stories. But perhaps, in this process of buying and selling of human stories, we have, as a society, become immune to the pain and suffering behind these headlines.

It is with the release of popular actress Kalki Koechlin’s new video “The Printing Machine” that these thoughts come to our mind. In the video, produced by women’s lifestyle Youtube channel Blush, Kalki recites a self-composed poem, on the various dimensions of women’s safety and crimes against women, and media’s portrayal of the same. The poem mentions several sensationalized cases, such as 16th December gangrape and rape of the Japanese tourist, and ends with the thought that Indian culture has reduced to a dismal low, and is now at the mercy of printing machines, online and offline.

In a statement released soon after the video, Kalki says “’Printing Machine’ was inspired by one of the key influencers in our lives — news houses and the media. We are flooded by an onslaught of objectifying and horrific news reports and imagery that have desensitised us.” The video is hard hitting, to say the least, and brings forth the issue of how the frivolous reporting of these stories has turned us into an indifferent society. It is a powerful message being sent across to all of us, pleading us not to be reduced to being a mute witness to these crimes, and instead take concrete action and be empathetic.

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