Queer stories through Grey vignettes

Aritra Sarkar, a 26-year-old Kolkata-based photographer talks to CE about his ‘Everyone Dies Grey’ series, which was recently exhibited at the Queer and Allies Art Fest

Published: 18th May 2016 07:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th May 2016 07:02 AM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI: One would call it bold and beautiful. The queer photographs taken by Aritra Sarkar speak a lot more than they actually show. Men stark naked, fondling women and some questionable queer details was the subject of the various stories that each frame projected. Calling it his ‘Everyone Dies Grey’ collection, Aritra shares his insight.

“My life, with or without colour is as impactful as it is with or without gender. It is therefore very necessary for me to understand the existence and the power of intimacy, tenderness and healing. Otherwise the world would be a difficult place to live in. Everyone Dies Grey: Queer Days through my lens is a reflection of just that. The way I have chosen to live irrespective of the absolute fluid human nature I deal with on a regular basis. If I owe anything to my soul, it is only my body,” explains Artira.

Aritra hails from Kolkata and found his bliss in photography and cinema through a gradual process that began with clicking random pictures for fun. Soon it changed into passion. For him, it’s more about the emotions that a silent medium can represent. “Though I’m studying filmmaking at the moment, I fell in love with photography, feeding moments and telling stories,” says the 26-year-old. Talking about his idea of working on the theme queer, he shares,  “I indulge in this art form when I need to share a story. Sometimes, silence can be the key to express emotions. For a long time, I wanted to work on queer but I didn’t know how to because it was personal, sensitive and I wanted to be honest. I started by writing stories for each frame and finally when I shared it with my batchmates, they were ready to model for me.”

He had previously exhibited his collection at Kolkata and Mumbai and that’s when he came across writer Raj Rao, also part of the community. They engaged in an intense discussion and it brought to light the voyeurism angle. In an article written by Rao he says: “Before discussing the subject of voyeurism with Aritra, I made it clear to him that I was for and not against voyeurism, to make sure he wasn’t on the defensive. He agreed that in getting his friends to pose for him he was, in reality, living out his fantasies. Perhaps I am doing the same when I write a story or a poem.”

Aritra is currently working on another series – morbidity.

 To check out his works, visit www.everyone-dies-grey.blogspot.in

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