Photo: Aksel Sundström

Dishum! Dishum! Fight the Tradition

"Dishum" is Hindi and describes the sound when a well-aimed left hook finds its target. This is a photo exhibition on girls who sweat and women who fight back.

Boxing to alter society

From morning workouts along the promenade in Chennai to the evening sessions in Calcutta's dark cellars the girls are constantly practicing. The air is filled with the sounds of commands: switch, parry! Turn, parry!, Sounds which are indicative of a change in India: Girls who sweat and women who fight back. Boxing has become a way for young girls in India to build up confidence and break the conventions of how a girl should behave.

One of the world's best boxing teams

Boxing has long been an illicit world for women in India. Many still think that boxing is unseemly, particularly parents from the higher caste. Matrimonial ads in Indian newspapers are looking for a trained and homely wife - not someone with a good left hook. But the number of girls who fight is rising rapidly. Their practice is so committed that they have become one of the world's leading countries in boxing for women. Boxing for women was not approved as a branch in the Olympics in 2008. Can we hope for a change to the Olympic Games in London in 2012?

The exhibition, including photographs, all taken by photographer Aksel Sundström, opened February 4 and was open until August 9.