Love In The Garden Of Consent, a music video by Agents Of Ishq, an online collective that focuses on sexuality and gender, is a lesson in how to talk about issues like sexual consent and marital rape in a jargon-free way without compromising on the core message. The tune is catchy, the visuals are trippy, and the lyrics express complex issues wonderfully—is it okay to give in to your partner even when you’re not “in the mood"? Is hooking up on a casual Tinder date okay?—in crisp, evocative phrases. A sample: Tan se kiya, kabhi man se kiya, kabhi fun se kiya/Sakhi jo bhi kiya/Janeman se kiya (Sometimes my body called, sometimes my heart was involved, sometimes I did it just for fun/Girl I did what felt nice with the bae of my choice).
Agents Of Ishq (Agentsofishq.com), founded by writer and documentary film-maker Paromita Vohra, has always navigated complex sexual politics in a positive way with a liberal use of Hinglish, pop-culture metaphors, and kitschy art. This video came out of a study exploring links between gender-based violence and sexuality conducted by the non-profit foundation Nirantar, which concluded that to understand coercion, we must engage with consent.
And that’s perfect, because if there’s one takeaway from the video, it’s this: Ishq ke garden mein marzi hai minimum (It all starts with consent).