Edition Patrick Frey
Hardcover, 115 Seiten
English / Hindi
In 2003, the nonprofit organization Urmul Setu Sansthan organised a Balika Mela, or fair for girls, in Lunkaransar town, attended by around 1500 adolescent girls from a hundred odd villages spread across Lunkaransar, Chhattargarh, Churu, Nagaur and Ganganagar districts of Western Rajasthan, India. Under the invitation of the organization, Gauri Gill created a photo-stall for the fair, a pop-up tent with basic props and backdrops that offered a chance to collaborate with the girls who came to be photographed, often with props and ideas of their own.
With 72 black-and-white plates and 32 color reproductions, essays by Gill herself and Manju Saran, a young local photographer who started and ran a studio in a village for five years after studying with Gill, in both English and Hindi to make the work accessible to all, this book is a sumptuous and feminist telling of a photo studio in the desert and the performative self directed portraits of the female children and adolescents that participated in her studio at the fair.