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Imagemaker Presentation: Jugaad / Of Intimacy and Love

Marc Ohrem-Leclef

Sunday, October 07 - 2:00PM to 2:30PM
Lecture Center 102

Through photographic portraits and interviews I explore the traditions of intimacy between men in India, and the intersections of homosocial culture, friendship and love; how traditional fluidity was impacted by colonial masculinities, the embrace of western culture, gender identity politics and stigma is of particular interest.

"I remember this one time ... I had this very strong attachment to somebody and we held hands in a very public place in Calcutta and it was the most ordinary thing to do, but for both of us it was very different. It was special, it was almost like being there, being visible to everyone but hiding everything."
(Pawan, Kolkata 2017)

Beginning in 2017 I have been traveling in 9 states across India, making portraits and interviews with collaborators from a broad range of identities, classes and backgrounds. Excerpts of interviews are freely paired with photographs, creating unexpected connections between our readings of images and words.

Interviews and photographs reveal the deeply human side of how male relationships in India today are molded by social dynamics that negotiate traditional and progressive ideas during the current political climate of division: Historically, fluidity in gender and sexuality were widely accepted in South Asia. Today, shrinking traditional, unspoken spaces force the adaption of identities previously irrelevant; adapting Western models of identities, urban queer communities are more confident although society at- large continues to shame same sex love, and colonial-era law criminalizes it.


Marc  Ohrem-Leclef
Marc Ohrem-Leclef

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