Content note: contains a personal narrative of domestic violence
Poulomi Basu’s work advocates for the rights of marginalised women using the power of photography as a tool for storytelling - amplifying the voices of women from the majority world. An Indian artist, photographer, and activist, she has become widely known for her powerful photographic projects Blood Speaks
and To Conquer Her Land,
to name a few. Her first photobook Centralia
was recently published by Dewi Lewis.
Autograph’s Curatorial Project Manager Bindi Vora has been working closely with Basu over the past eighteen months to present the international debut of her decade-long project Centralia
, which was due to be exhibited in Arles as part of the Louis Roederer Discovery Award. Unfortunately, the unfolding Covid-19 pandemic has forced the cancellation of this year’s festival.
One of Autograph’s core aims has always been to enable artists to develop their practice. We recently sent Basu on the Autograph / Light Work residency, to support the development of her new series Fireflies
. Each year, we team up with Light Work
in Syracuse, New York – a non-profit, artist-run organisation providing direct support to emerging and under-represented artists working in photography. Autograph selects an artist to go on a residency at Light Work’s studios to pursue their personal projects: an exhibition, publication, printing, or even just space to think. They are provided with travel expenses, a stipend for living and production, a private darkroom, an apartment, and 24-hour access to Light Work’s photo and computer lab facilities. We’ve been doing this since 1996.
As we reflect on life since lockdown, Vora spoke with Basu about Fireflies
, and some of the enduring legacies of women’s trauma.