Indian Memory Project: About The People, By The People

{0 Comments}

0
Indian Memory Project
Indian Memory Project
Indian Memory Project

While life itself perishes away, what we are left with are memories. Photographs have a way of capturing these memories and making them immortal. “Photographs are a way to time travel, and imagine how they must have been, who they must have been” says Anusha Yadav. A photographer herself, her love for photographic memories has lead to the Indian Memory Project: an online, curated, visual and oral-history based archive, which documents the emotional history of the Indian subcontinent.

Some years ago Anusha was looking for material, for a book about Indian weddings. She asked people to contribute relevant photographs. She found that people started sending in all sorts of photographs, each with colourful and engaging back stories. Any such collection paints a very vivid history; of the people and the place it represents. With her collection of 35 stories, Anusha started an online blog called ‘The Indian Memory Project‘.

Indian Memory Project
Indian Memory Project

People can send in photographs, provided they have been taken before 1991. Images that mean something, photographs that they’ve preserved for some inexplicable reason, some could even be impersonal but just hold a dear place in their keeper’s heart and some just visually beautiful. These images however might mean very little or nothing if just presented by themselves. The photograph gets meaning though a narrative; words make the image more meaningful. So, along with the photograph one must also contribute a story. Sometimes contributors chose to write the story themselves, but sometimes they orally narrate stories that Anusha writes for them.

Since February 2010, this archive has slowly grown. You will now find over 83 beautiful short stories that paint before you a collage of Indian history: a history written not by academicians or anthropologists or historians, but an emotional history about the people, by the people. It doesn’t merely document images, but recreates a past as remembered by the present, reinforcing the power of human memory. In her words, this project demonstrates how “each and every one of us plays a central role in the history of the world.”

Anusha Yadav, Indian Memory Project
Anusha Yadav

Anusha is a freelance photographer and graphic designer. She funds the Indian Memory Project herself. She sells some of her own photographic art work via the website, and the revenue generated from sales goes towards the Indian Memory Project. She has spread the word about this project by personally speaking to people about it and through the social media. Plus, whenever the chance presents itself she speaks publicly. She was one of the speakers at the INKtalks.

I’ve spent many a lazy afternoon browsing through the archives, wandering through history; sometimes being inspired by a story of an unsung freedom fighter, feeling sorry for a woman hiding behind a predestined role or wondering what life must have been. Sometimes looking into the eyes of someone’s curious portrait or the posed awkwardness of a newly married couple.

Each contribution leaves an impact, be it a feeling of grief or that of joy. I could recount some tales, but I wouldn’t want to rob you of the pleasure or do injustice to the original writer of the narrative. So if you like me are charmed by words and images, do visit the Indian Memory Project website and relive some precious moments of the past.

Heard of another interesting and inspiring project ike this that we should cover? Write to us at [email protected] and tell us.

Post By Salonee Gadgil (86 Posts)

I'll chat with my imaginary pet dog and perfect a handstand while the rest of you act like grown ups.

Website: →

Connect

Salonee Gadgil

Salonee Gadgil
I'll chat with my imaginary pet dog and perfect a handstand while the rest of you act like grown ups.