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Mar 22, 2019
Swan Song of the Badlas - Taha Ahmad

Our faculty Taha Ahmad's award-winning series Swan Song of the Badlas gets featured as Front Page Project on VASA Project.

Do view by clicking on the link below:

VASA Front Page Project #45

The VASA Front Page Project 
presents the work of emerging and established photographers, video or sound artist.

Taha Ahmad

Swan Song of the Badlas


© Taha Ahmad

Go to: VASA Front Page #45

Curator: Sandeep Biswas

My work ‘Swan Song of the Badlas’ revolves around the life of these Badlas and their families, their struggle, downfall and survival.

Mukaish Badla is a form of embroidery, which at its peak flourished in the Indian city of Lucknow. At its peak, in the 18th century, the art form travelled to different parts of the world, but is now restricted to a few narrow lanes of the old city of Lucknow. 

The Photographer:

Taha Ahmad is a photographer based in India. He was born in Lucknow, in 1994. His work is a visual representation of the shift in pluralistic landscape, the traumatic past and the culture which is threatened by religious conflicts, social injustice, politics and the times we live in.

Mar 17, 2019
Online Exhibition - Sudharak Olwe - VASA Project - Curated by Sandeep Biswas

For the last year, I have been associated with VASA, an online media centre for media studies.

The VASA mission is to provide an internet platform for disseminating the work of theorist and image makers on a global scale. The VASA community shares an interest in media studies, photography, film/video and sound.

To meet its mission, VASA supports online curated exhibitions; film/video screenings; the Journal on Images and Culture; The VASA Front Page and other projects.

During the last few months I have been associated with them, I have had the opportunity to work with established and upcoming photographers and photography based artists. I have curated 2 Front Page Projects and 1 Exhibition.

Presenting my first online exhibition as a curator with VASA by eminent photographer Sudharak Olwe below. 

Click on the image to proceed.


visit VASA

You are invited to an Online VASA exhibition

Sudharak Olwe

In Search of Dignity and Justice

© Sudharak Olwe from "Thrice Oppressed"

View Exhibition

The VASA exhibition by Indian photographer Sudharak Olwe includes two portfolios and videos directed or filmed by Olwe. 

Sudharak Olwe’s work addresses the marginalized people of India.  He addresses violence against woman in “Thrice Oppressed” and in “The Search for Dignity and Justice: The untold story of Mumbai’s conservancy workers” the dehumanizing conditions of the sweepers of Bombay. 

The exhibition includes a number of videos focused on improving the lives of marginal villagers, education and health conditions.  One video is from the TED series where Olwe discusses his work with the context of social justice.

A curatorial essay by Sandeep Biswas provides a rich context for understanding Olwe’s work and commitment to photography and social justice. 

Curator: Sandeep Biswas

* VASA wishes to welcome Sandeep Biwas to our international curatorial team.

Sudharak Olwe from "Search of Dignity and Justice"

View Exhibition

Visit VASA

VASA Online Exhibitions are the result of the effort of various curators, artist, and photographers. Exhibition Archives may be accessed on the VASA site.

All VASA exhibitions are archived for future access.

VASA is an online center for media studies 
with a focus on photography, film, video and digital media arts.

Visit VASA

VASA Programs include Exhibitions, Journal on Images and Culture,
Video Series, Witness Ukraine, Front Page Project

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Mar 12, 2019
About our next workshop at Ahmedabad

Grayscale moves next to Ahmedabad. We will be holding an intensive workshop on Visual Story Telling on 29,30 and 31 March 2019. We hope to take our second step to another level. Sharing with you our idea behind this workshop and hope to work along with a few upcoming good talented photography enthusiasts during these 3 days.

Register now, limited seats available.

The workshop will focus on understanding the meaning behind one's individual images and how a group of such images can create an individual expression and become even more meaningful within one’s visual storytelling.

We all take pictures and want to break out of random imagery in search of a cohesive visual storytelling project, which helps us in many ways discover a world we wish to explore. We spend a substantial amount of time in search of our personal understanding of the subject, may it be a thematic documentary an issue or a contextual approach to one’s visual language.

Images always happen as we search for them, they come our way and they are made. We end up working on a large number of images as we evolve with the endless process of discovering and rediscovering our subject which finds us many ways to perceive it, while our relationship with our subject grows.

This is a process that gives us our freedom to create, yet we need clarity to express our story and language to our audience.

Our learning during this workshop will be the hardest part of the final storytelling. The final challenge will be in looking at everything we have put together over time and choosing only the right images, create the best link from the beginning to the end and understanding the process of self-critique.

This workshop will discuss your own personal style.

the workshop would help develop the statement of your work and embody your goals and expectations in photography.

Mar 11, 2019
Grayscale Academy Workshop in Lucknow February 2019

Grayscale Academy began it's operations in January 2019 and began with their first Weekend workshop on 23rd and 24th February 2019. The Mahmudabad Estate supported our initiative by offering us a space in their majestic Mahmudabad palace, situated right in the centre of the city. The palace once belonged to the King of Awadh, Wajid Ali Shah, before the British removed him from his throne. later it was acquired by the Nawab of Mahmudabad, and since then it has become the home of the Nawab's family.

Ali Khan Mahmudabad, who has recently joined the Samajwadi party, is a highly qualified and learned man. He was previously a professor with the Ashoka University and has a keen interest in Art and Culture. He started supporting various creative practices, and with the help of their newly appointed cultural curator Aashima have encouraged all forms of artists to visit their Palace in Lucknow and Mahmudabad to use the space as an inspiration towards one's creative practice. 

We were a witness to their generosity towards giving us all possible support to inaugurate the first-ever Grayscale Academy workshop, which was a modest start, but a worthwhile beginning.  Grayscale Academy is thankful to Ali Khan Mahmudabad, Aashima and all others at the estate who made this possible. 

We look forward to associating with them again whenever possible in the near future.

The workshop got some good publicity from HT City Lucknow and the media house of the Mahmudabad palace. 

Sharing a few moments with everyone.

Lucknow Workshop at Mahmudabad palace
The Majestic Venue
Lucknow Workshop at Mahmudabad palace
Workshop in progress
Lucknow Workshop at Mahmudabad palace
The faculty and participants outside the venue

Mar 09, 2019
Grayscale Academy - A Beginning of a Dream and a Reality

I have been teaching photography with a few institutes in and around Delhi, for over a decade and a half. I was happy with the fact that all was set up for me and all I had to do was go and lecture. It was a very convenient way to remain a faculty, who had to invest only in one's knowledge and communication skill to reach out to the many interested, or sometimes uninterested students in these various schools that taught photography, various forms of design and visual communication. You go there, share your knowledge, guide and get your fee. 

What made a photographer and a teacher, who is not a businessman to decide to run a school of his own? Why decide to take this burden of a financial investment, when there are many with a deeper pocket, ready to invest in education because there is a possibility of immense return? Am I looking at a larger return or am I looking at some kind of professional satisfaction, which I have always searched for as a self-employed professional? A question even I would ask myself. And why not? Do I not also have the right to make money like so many businessmen, who see life only as a profit and loss statement? 

The question was never only about how much I invest and what I get in return. As a professional photographer, my investment in money might be lesser, but my commitment to the medium of my work is equally important as over the years I realised that " All that Glitters is not Gold ". Education is a very serious business and not just a business. Yet I need to survive in this very tough and cutthroat world, where glitter is easier to sell than substance. 

Am I capable of giving substance? How can I contribute to someone, who is a client or a customer? They want what they want, and they want it now.

Dreams are easier to sell, but not reality. The reality will always come to you when the dream is over. 

I have dealt with both simultaneously as a learner, practitioner and teacher. 

Grayscale Academy for me is another dream and reality together. 

Sandeep Biswas ( Founder and faculty )