Residency programme for photographers


Photographers Residency - Tiruvannamalai

Ekalokam Trust for Photography (EtP) ( / ) is an artist run, not-for profit organisation registered as a Trust, dedicated to protecting and promoting contemporary photography and connected art forms; rejuvenating traditional analogue photography; taking contemporary photo-art to rural and the surrounding urban photo-art enthusiasts; and archiving the life and work of contemporary photographers and to initiate collective public photo-art projects. Last year, EtP had organised project 365 { } a public photo-art project that collectively creates and preserves photographic visuals of the fast vanishing landscape, culture and lifestyle of ancient town Tiruvannamalai. Thirty contemporary photographers have contributed to Project 365 Tiruvannamalai. Project 365 is led by contemporary Indian photographer Abul Kalam Azad { }. Project 365 will culminate in a traveling exhibition and a photo-book publication, broadly titled ‘Tamilakam Rekaikal’.

Location details: Tiruvannamalai is an ancient nature worship site, situated in the Bangalore – Pondy Highway, Tamil Nadu. Experiments done by Geological Survey of India has revealed that the rock (charnokite) which makes up the Annamalai hill in Tiruvannamalai is older than 3.5 billion years and believed to have formed as a result of a massive volcanic eruption. The fertile land around the hill was a highly potential farming land and soon became an important human settlement in South India. Many a legends and mythical stories of Shaiva belief grew around the Annamalai Hill, which is revered as fire (agni), one of the pancha bhootam (five elements). During Sangam period (3rd century BCE to 4th century CE) Tiruvannamalai was one of the most important centers for Jain culture and learning. Tirumalai, an ancient Jain temple complex in Tirvannamalai is dated from the 9th century and has the tallest Jain image in Tamil Nadu. The first recorded history of Tiruvannamalai town dates back to the ninth century, as seen from Chola inscriptions in the Annamalai temple in Tiruvannamalai. Apart from the Cholas, Tiruvannamalai has been ruled by the Pallavas, Hoysalas, the Vijayanagar Empire, the Carnatic kingdom, Tipu Sultan and the British. The yesteryears architectural and art created collectively by the artists’ guild with the patronage of the different rulers stand as a museum of our culture and art. Karthikai Deepam is the most popular festival of Tiruvannamalai and inscriptions indicate that the festival was celebrated as early as the Chola period. As part of the festival, a huge lamp is lit in a cauldran, at the top of the Annamalai and to mark the occasion, several thousand people from the neighbouring villages gather and circumnavigate around the Annamalai hill. For more information see:

Duration: The residency programme is for a minimum of two weeks, maximum 6 months. Site and time specific projects could be jointly evolved in consultation with the Programme Director.


  • Administration and preparatory research
  • Orientation to the town and culture
  • Shared accommodation (individual two bedroom house within the 12000 sq.ft campus)
  • Basic support for production and technical assistance
  • Guidance and Direction by experienced photographers and photo-artists
  • Networking opportunities with the art community
  • Opportunity to interact and work with government schools and villages in and around Tiruvannamalai

Eligibility: The residency program is open to beginners, emerging, mid-career and senior level photographers that are formally trained or self-taught.

Attention Foreign Nationals: Appropriate VISA is a must to be part of EtP Residency programme. EtP will provide the necessary documents.

Interested photographers please fill the Application Form and send to EtP at If you need more information, please call us at {0}94879 56405