“I have always been drawn to ‘odd’ women. I feel an affinity, a resonance with women who don’t fit the norm – perhaps recognising aspects of myself – and this is reflected in my photographic work,” Chhachhi stated, in a conversation with Beatriz Cifuentes Feliciano that is published in the book.
Chhachhi’s works champions women in front of her camera and behind it, given her fierce involvement in feminist workshops, protests, and anti-dowry campaigns. “I was a participant as much as a documentarian,” she said. “I would be shouting a slogan one moment and lifting the camera the next!” Chhachhi is also a believer in creating collaborative staged photographs, in this way giving the subject the agency of self-representation.
This is evident in one of the three photographic series included the title: Seven Lives and a Dream (1980–91), an exploration of the Indian feminist movement. It is accompanied by images from The Green of the Valley is Khaki (1994), a documentation of women in conflict-ridden Kashmir, and Initiation Chronicle (2001–7), and a chronicle of the transformation of a female sadhus who explicitly renounce their gendered participation in society.