As part of FII’s Meet the Team series, we are featuring former and current employees who have worked with or are working with us currently since the inception of FII. Feminism in India as a digital intersectional feminist media platform would not exist if not for these incredible individuals who have helped build this organisation to make what it is today.
Today, we’re chatting with Ritika Banerjee who is a part-time illustrator at FII and a filmmaker. Ritika is currently working on a documentary about the scenario of Child rights in India provided with a Ford Foundation grant. Ritika finds her inspiration and creative space of expression with her illustration work at FII.
FII: What do you like most about being a part of the FII family?
Ritika: Being part of FII has a sense of freedom to it. Every illustration I make, and every conversation I have with a teammate, has been extremely encouraging and it has helped me realize that I indeed have a lot to offer to the community, it has helped me see my worth in a new light
FII: What advice would you give someone joining the organisation?
Ritika: If you want to be a part of a team that has a sense of ‘we have your back’, this is the space for you. They got you, you got them.
FII: How would your colleagues describe you?
Ritika: Apologizes way too much! But no, they will probably say that I am quite helpful and accommodating of new ideas, feedback or any input. I am also a little fun, maybe!
FII: Which fictional character do you identify with and why?
Ritika: Off the top of my head, I would say I identify as Phoebe’s character, Fleabag, quite a bit. There is a constant breaking of the fourth wall that happens internally for me, just like the character. Thinking, unthinking, rethinking – a constant conversation with the self of sorts has always been a part of life.
FII: What is something that you’re tired of hearing?
Ritika: That I am too emotional. I just feel and want to communicate – scares people off maybe.
FII: Which feminist movement do you feel particularly passionate about and why?
Ritika: Having worked with a group of CNCP (Children in Need of Care and Protection) children for the past year, I have been looking at child rights in India with a closer lens. I am not sure if it is forming up as a movement just yet but the intersection of child rights and feminism is something that I feel can help revolutionize the way we are trying to understand labour and violence amongst children.
FII: What makes FII a ‘feminist’ organisation?
Ritika: It is inclusive of all thoughts and ideas. It is not restrictive in its communication. One can be really free, which is key to any change-making path I believe.
FII: What’s the most fun thing about your job?
Ritika: That I can illustrate, especially I can do it my way and still have people welcome my style and not question, compare or reject it.
FII: Do you remember when and why you decided to work at a feminist organisation?
Ritika: At the beginning of my Masters’s program, sometime in 2020, I decided to apply for FII. I was restarting my journey as a Filmmaker back then. I felt the need to reconnect with myself, and my identity as a woman. I wanted to tell stories and associating myself with FII felt like a step in the right direction.
FII: If you had a talk show, which feminist icon would you call and what would you ask them?
Ritika: I think I would like to have a conversation with Vrinda Grover about her involvement in the drafting the POCSO Act 2012.
FII thanks Ritika for her timely and valuable contribution to the organisation. We are incredibly grateful to have her as a part of our team and appreciate her for her deeply insightful work. She can be followed on Instagram.