Grant Awardee: Reshma Teelar for the project ‘Akam’
Reshma Teelar has a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Media from the Amrita School of Arts and Sciences, Kochi and a Master’s degree in Photography Design from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. She has been engaged as a design educator and was an Assistant Professor at the Woxsen School of Art and Design, Hyderabad. Working as a professional documentary photographer for almost 9 years, Reshama has worked with several print and online publications, newspapers and marketing agencies. Her works has been exhibited at the Tokyo University of Arts, Japan (2015), the Osaka University of Arts, Japan (2016), the Osaka Arts Gallery, Japan (2016), the OFF Festival, Bratislava (2017) and at the Athens Photobook Festival, Athens (2018). Her writings and photographs have been published in several magazines. Project ‘Akam’ received a special mention in the Theatre Photography Grant 2020.
Statement: “Project Akam (literally, insides) deals with my sleep paralysis. Through the process of recreating my nightmares, I am trying to overcome my fears. In the past 4 years, I have extensively noted down my hallucinations and have tried to re-create them through images. In staging and manipulating the images that populate my half-awake nightmares, I experience a sense of control over these fears that I otherwise forfeit to disorderly neurons. This is photographic theatre as therapy.
If art is unapologetically bold and truthful, I thought I should portray my project at its full potential without hiding anything…The control one feels when one acts out a character gives immense power to one over them, which is what helped me I believe. So I would show him (the model) poses, expressions and so on, explaining the spatial composition, and he would replicate.”
Marie-Nour Hechaime (cultural worker and contemporary art curator)
Monica Narula (artist, cinematographer, film-maker, artistic director)
Munem Wasif (documentary photographer)