I wondered if I’d succeed.
This was the longest I’d ever spent in any village. I had signed up for a month long art residency project – as a documentary film-maker. There were a dozen or so other participants, all artists of various kinds (from painters to graphic designers to sculptors to conceptual space artists). The objective, for each artist, was to be in the village and create their artwork in three weeks (and exhibit it for a week after that).
Click on the photograph to view the slideshow.
The village was Gunehar in Himachal Pradesh. Some artists were very clear about what they wanted to do. I had little clue. I wondered if I would succeed in creating good enough documentary films. I didn’t even know if I qualified as an artist. Not that it mattered much. What mattered was that I had never approached making documentary-films in this manner – to first arrive at a scene and then try to find a story. So far, I had only travelled to any place after I already knew what the story was. And that’s why the self doubt.
Although I predominantly worked on creating short-documentary films, at times I would just go out there and shoot pictures. This is what this portfolio is all about. I wonder if these images put together, tell any story at all. May be they don’t. May be they do. In any case, I will consider this an accidental start of my photography projects.
As for the documentary films, eventually I did manage to create a few. The villagers liked them more or less. Below is one of the films.