pow final project

of 22/22
Poetics of Witnessing Spring 2012

Post on 08-Jul-2015




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CharansparshPoetics of WitnessingSpring 2012Charan means feet, and Sparsh means touch; Charansparsh is a Hindi word, and refers to a commonly practiced Indian ritual of bowing down to someone and touching their feet. It is generally performed by touching the feet of ones parents, elders, teachers and mentors, and is a gesture of respect and gratitude. In addition to the literal meaning of the phrase, Charansparsh also pays homage to dignity and divinity of a person, by acknowledging the places his/her feet have traveled., thereby praising a journey of lessons learned and wisdom gained. It is an expression that makes us stop and respect where weve been, who we are, and where well go. Charansparsh is reverence. This visual project is a first-time, personal foray into some of the places of my past. It is a small collection of photographs that I hope will evoke a sense of place, and a sense of time gone by. It is a return to my childhood and my rendezvous with memories of both pain and beauty. These are some of my personal reminders of transience and the ephemeral nature of time; of a childhood spent in a country I both loved and ran away from, and of moments spent with my father who passed away when I was 9 This is Charansparsh for the places Ive been, and for perhaps where I will go. My intent is not to create sentimental memory project, where the triumphs and defeats of the past are simplified, trivialized and packaged by the merchants of nostalgia. It is a meditative project, a rumination on how time and childhood are both subjects and sources of inspiration. I wonder if we can all turn to the landscapes of own childhoods to see how we might make use of that time and space to generate new ideas, words and works of art.

Im a singer, a writer, a music-maker., this is what I do. In my mind Ive never been a film-maker or a photographer; in fact I dont think Ive ever truly attempted to capture an un-contrived moment on any kind of film. In March of this year however, I was inspired to be brave, and to make an attempt at nurturing a creative impulse of a different kind. I wanted to visit the same places of authenticity, discovery and expression that I access with music and performance, with photos. This inspiration was born out of my trip to India over spring break; to my hometown Delhi, and especially to Jaipur. Two and a half hours away from Delhi, in the desert state of Rajasthan, Jaipur was home away from home for my family. Many, many weekends of my childhood were spent in Jaipur, exploring old forts and palaces with my father, walking the abandoned story-filled streets of former royal villages, riding rickshaws into the madness of local bazaars- filled with different kinds of people, happy, sad, lonelybut all colorful. I returned to both these cities with trepidation, a simple camera and limited editing skills, but decided to capture some of the places I used to visit with my father. Each of these places is deeply beautiful to me, but (in the words of Crispin Sartwell) also carry within them the poignancy of lossthe loss of my father, the loss of time gone by. To quote phenomenologist Gaston Bachelard- So like a forgotten fire, a childhood can always flare up again within us. I hope you enjoy this project. Please view it in slideshow mode. Thank-you.