Ruck India: Chasing the rise of women's rugby across the subcontinent

Armed with a camera and cleats for 10 months from 2011-2012, I followed the story of India's women's rugby squad.

ruck: a multitude; a throng; the battle of two or more opponents to gain possession of a grounded rugby ball

Mother India is not kind to her women: it's a country where harboring two X chromosomes leaves slim room for improvisation. But, in every bit of blood anointed, bruise brandished and spindly bone snapped, revolution rumbles each time these women bandage-up and head home from the pitch. They come from every corner of the subcontinent, and every social demographic. At the national team camp I spent time at, seven languages were spoken and one pooja was celebrated. 

Rugby is an unbridled expression of power and discipline. It's a landscape upon which these women are fighting for control of their bodies, choosing their communities and defying the social script. 

Who are they? How did they find themselves here? 

All words and photos are my own, unless otherwise noted.

The project continues.


Blue is the new black: Injury as cultural currency in roller derby

We'd survey the damages the morning after our rugby matches. Turf burns were admired; bruises —  bite marks, cleat plates — were celebrated. Our bodies read like Rorschach tests.

We brandished these marks as badges of honor. The marks — and our devil-may-care acceptance of them — were validations of our athleticism. Emergency room trips and orthopedic appointments, x-rays and MRIs, pain-killers and ice packs were all part of the casual routine that we came to except, expect, and integrate into our lives as competitive female athletes. 

In the spring of 2011, found myself belly-up on flat track, outside of Amsterdam's city center. It was here that I spent time with the Amsterdam Derby Dames, the Netherlands' only derby team at the time. Through photographs and interviews, I aimed to gain further insight into the valourization of injury among women in high-contact sports.


"Man-Up?": A photodocumentary 

Like a camera shutter,  a bone takes milliseconds to snap.

Entering into the last season of my collegiate rugby career, I was in a never-ending battle with my body to heal. I was tired. I needed a lucky charm.

Man Up? A Sports & Gender Photo documentary was my senior thesis project. Looking at female participation in the world of 'hyper masculine' sport, the book featured  interviews from more than 70 female athletes. It gave voice to the women fighting back—no longer wanting to 'man up' or 'play with the boys; rather, these women strove to be autonomous, independent of male comparison in their athletic prowess and actualization.