Ephemeral: New Futures for Passing Images

The history of photography in India presents some unexplored and unexpected gaps. One of the most understudied concepts is that of ‘vernacular’ photography – a term often applied to quotidian images, which in India, given its colonial connotations, has been amended by visual anthropologists such as Christopher Pinney with the term mofussil, or that which lies outside the centre and besides the strictly metropolitan. The colloquial referencing of ‘vernacular’ focuses heavily on that which is ‘native,’ as distinguished from the ‘national.’ Hence, the focus on local, community-oriented, marginalised zones that may represent elided traditions come to the fore as viable parameters within which the term is broadly understood. Ephemeral seeks to broaden the engagement with the term ‘vernacular,’ in both subject and representation, in order to think about how, with overlapping histories today, we can enhance our understanding of a lens culture around the subject.

Sukanya Ghosh
Sukanya Ghosh is an artist, animator, and designer. She trained in Painting from the Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S. University of Baroda and Animation Film Design from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. She works with popular imagery, photographs, collage, poetry, and the moving image. Sukanya received the Charles Wallace India Trust Award, Sarai Independent Fellowship, commissions from the French Embassy in India, Royal Commonwealth Society, Motiroti, UK among others. She was an Artist-in-Residence at Khoj, New Delhi; Spike Island, Bristol, UK; and AIR Vallauris, France. She currently lives and works between Delhi and Calcutta.

Uzma Mohsin
Uzma Mohsin was born in Aligarh and graduated from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. As part of her image-making practice, she uses personal voice, metaphorical exploration, and abstraction to unravel narratives of people, places and their histories. Her last three exhibitions include Girl Gaze: Journeys Through the Punjab & the Black Country, UK at Punjab Kala Bhawan, Chandigarh (2018), The Surface of Things: Photography in Process at Alliance Francaise (2016), Delhi and Zones of Privacy at Chatterjee & Lal gallery, Mumbai (2016). She was awarded the Alkazi Foundation’s Documentary Grant, in 2017.

Photography Credits: Omar Khan Collection