Parting with your first camera….

Project 365_donation 4

One of the main purposes of Project 365 is to rejuvenate the traditional analog medium…. Our concern is to ensure that the project 365 prints stay longer and of better quality. Nazneen Tonse, writer, poet and social activist approached Project 365 Director and expressed her interest to donate an analog camera…. Abul directed me to collect it from her. The Bangalore MUKHAMUKHAM event was scheduled to be in Bangalore on 15th November 2014 and we decided to meet in Bangalore. On 13th November, I visited 1 Shanthi Road, to meet Suresh Jayaraman to discuss a partnership. Nazneen had earlier mentioned that she is a friend of Suresh Jayaraman and it is from his facebook wall that she had came across our request for donation. So, I called her from 1 Shanthi Road and she agreed to come in an hours time… after a relaxed lunch and long conversation with Suresh Jayaraman and Cop Shiva, I heard a sudden announcement, “Hey Tulsi…. I am sorry, I was late”…. It was Nazneen Tonse. “Now the camera….”, she said and took the precious Yashika from her bag and held it in her hands, as one would hold their child. After few lingering moments she said, “This is my first camera… I have many fond memories associated with this..” and a after a brief silence, she looked straight into her camera and said, “I am gonna miss you. But then you will be now put to use and be well taken care of…. now, you are out of your retirement and back to work..” saying this, she looked at me and asked, “Wouldn’t you be using the camera…”. I replied with an affirmation… I didn’t have much words to offer… however, this particular conversation had left a big mark in me… I can vividly remember her kissing the camera and bidding goodbye…. As, I was carrying the camera, the tripod and the documents in the busy streets of Bangalore, I realised the priceless value of the donation we had received. I took extra care and kept them closer to me….

Yashika FX-3, donated by Nazneen Tonse
Yashika FX-3, donated by Nazneen Tonse / camera photographed by Arnav Rastogi

The very same day, Abiman Prasath donated his digital camera to EtP Project 365. Whilst I took possession of the digital camera, Abul gave the Yashika to Project 365 photographer Arnav Rastogi. Arnav has been creating photographic visuals of the Tamil living spaces in Tiruvannamalai. He will be experimenting with the analog medium. Yes, the trusted possession of Nazneen Tonse will be put to use.

Project 365, the public photo art project is going on its full swing and the first public preview is being organised on 7th December 2014. The support of many has made this a possibility… the vision, the collective consciousness, the dedication, hard work of the 365 photographers, the collaborative support of the local people and audience… this also includes many parting with their trusted possessions for a beautiful cause…

Thanks a lot and do join in this effort to create and preserve photographic visuals of an ancient town,

Tulsi Swarna Lakshmi