23 August 2021
23 August 2021 - Written by PhMuseum
Merging fictional interpretations with elements from reality, Abhishek Khedekar penetrates the everyday life of a nomadic Indian tribe and then searches for visual examples of the constant social discrimination and prejudice they face.
Tamasha is a docu-fiction. This photographic project explores everyday challenges faced by Tamasha, a 100-person family collectively known as Lokkalawant that live their life like nomads across the state of Maharashtra in India. The project focuses on their everyday life and is documented to reflect the discriminative and prejudicial treatment towards them. People in the community often see them as a form of entertainment and neglect their basic needs.
Some instances are so repetitive through society that we often find ourselves getting used to them. A certain hierarchy and discrimination have always existed. Through Tamasha I would like to reflect on the issues that I so often observed in our society. I made a lot of trips to visit the Tamasha family to create these photographs. Peeking into the lives of others is not easy, spending time with them in their space and becoming one of them was very difficult for me when I started. I spent time with them over a period of 6 months in 2016. I traveled and stayed with the Tamasha tribe to understand and experience their daily life. What started off as an initial idea of just exploring a dying art that has been followed in Maharashtra since the 16th century, slowly built up to where I am now, where I allowed myself to explore another side of Tamasha as a performance to symbolize visual arts to convey artistic expression that revolves around discrimination.
Words and Pictures by Abhishek Khedekar.
Abhishek Rajaram Khedekar (b. 1991) is a photographer based in New Delhi, India. His work revolves around documenting stories bordering between reality and fiction, creating narratives and curating archival images. He often approaches his photographic practice through the process of analogue, which further enhances his ability to physically interact with his material. He aims at exploring and evoking new boundaries of contemporary media and multidisciplinary art. Abhishek studied Masters in Photography Design from the National Institute of Design, India. He is currently working as a freelance photographer and designer while also focusing on his long term photo-based projects, Tamasha and Dapoli. Find him on PHmuseumand Instagram.
This feature is part of Story of the Week, a selection of relevant projects from our community handpicked by the PHmuseum curators