Pursuing a Dream in the Indian Film Industry

German photographer Yana Wernicke provides a window into the fluctuating everyday lives of young aspiring female actresses in Mumbai, India who are chasing their dream in Bollywood.

The series won Wernicke a place on a workshop of her choice at the next edition of Cortona On The Move as part of the PHmuseum 2019 Photography Grant prizes.

Bombay Dream looks at the individuality and circumstances of a number of young women in Mumbai who have come to the city in pursuit of an acting career. I photographed these aspiring actresses in their private rooms and apartments with the intention of allowing an intimate exchange and creative photographic collaboration based on trust and respect.

I felt the need to capture something about these young women whose existence is fluctuating constantly between self-definition and the ascriptions of others, between false assumptions and authentic bearings, between illusion and reality. I was on the lookout for signs of self-assertion, where a search for identity combines with self-dramatisation. Bombay Dream is a subtle inquiry into their lives and ways of living that are governed by, but also transcending, documentary interests.

Words and Pictures by .


Yana Wernicke is a photographer living in Berlin, Germany. In her work, she often enters foreign societies and cultural groups, highlighting singular aspects in order to raise universal questions. Combining documentary and artistic practices, her work often deals with issues of identity, feminism and cultural heritage. Find her on PHmuseum and Instagram.


This feature is part of Story of the Week, a selection of relevant projects from our community handpicked by the PHmuseum curators.

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