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Brushstrokes: Indian Teen Artist Reimagines Goddesses As Modern-Day Feminists

Illustration of goddesses - with one on her phone; another clicking a selfie; the third with her tongue hanging out, and makina victory sign; fourth has "Free the Nipple" written on her half-bared chest; fifth has one-third side of her head bald, and the rest has long hair.

Bringing to life five goddesses from across the world, 17-year-old Priyanka Paul from India has used illustration to reimagine these mythological women as modern-day feminists. On her Instagram, Paul gives each of her subjects a completely new look and back story, suggesting that they would be involved in current feminist causes both on and offline.

Mythology shapes culture – it is one of the ways that entire societies outline their values and present their history. Women in mythology play an important role, but they are often represented in a one-dimensional way: as mothers, as creators, as feminine counterparts who mediate the hypernationalist messages perpetuated by the legends they inhabit.

Paul’s work, shown below, is a reclamation of these powerful women – not as flagbearers of tradition but as voices of progress.

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