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A Chronicle of Compassion: Exclusive Interview with Mou Aysha - Retro Kolkata The Global Edition

A Chronicle of Compassion: Exclusive Interview with Mou Aysha - Retro Kolkata The Global Edition

In a world constantly bustling with noise and frenetic pace, Mou Aysha's photographs echo an intense silence that speaks volumes. As a humanitarian photographer, Aysha's lens catches more than just images; it captures stories, encapsulating moments that reflect the human condition in its most genuine state. In this illuminating conversation, we get a glimpse into Aysha's creative process, her aspirations, and the heartwarming encounters that fuel her compelling body of work.

A Chronicle of Compassion: Exclusive Interview with Mou Aysha - Retro Kolkata The Global Edition

Retro Kolkata : Mou, it's a pleasure to have you with us. You've done some remarkable work in the field of humanitarian photography. Could you tell us a bit about how your academic background in Applied English Linguistics has influenced or contributed to your work as a photographer?

Mou Aysha : Certainly, education has proven to be incredibly beneficial for me, especially in the world of photography. My background in Applied English Linguistics, which I pursued during my MA, has had a significant impact on how I approach humanitarian photography. When I was immersing myself in the vast sea of literature during my linguistics studies, it opened my mind to observing finer details in a literary manner, which I now incorporate into my photography.

Exploring linguistics has given me a unique perspective on language nuances, cultural differences, and effective communication.

All those insights have become my strength when I engage with diverse communities. They help me break down language and cultural barriers in the most authentic way possible, enriching my photographic journeys. What's even more amazing is how my linguistic foundation has shaped my ethical sensibilities. It's like having a built-in radar for understanding power dynamics, which is super important. This consciousness of power dynamics ensures my work remains respectful and dignified, avoiding any potential exploitation.

A Chronicle of Compassion: Exclusive Interview with Mou Aysha - Retro Kolkata The Global Edition

Retro Kolkata : Your portraits often depict individuals who have lived through challenging circumstances. What does it take to capture such raw emotions and stories while ensuring you maintain the dignity and respect of your subjects?

Mou Aysha : Capturing the emotions of individuals who've faced challenges is deeply meaningful. It's about honoring their strength and building a genuine connection through empathy. I listen, share, and go beyond photography to establish rapport.

A Chronicle of Compassion: Exclusive Interview with Mou Aysha - Retro Kolkata The Global Edition

Respect is central. I see each person as an individual, not just a subject. We collaborate, letting them share on their terms. While technical details matter, the emotional essence comes from trust. I ensure their comfort and consent, preserving their dignity and authenticity. Through respect and compassion, their powerful stories are shared authentically with the world.

Retro Kolkata :Many people might perceive photography as a one-sided process, where the photographer dictates the outcome. However, your work tells a different story of deep connections and interactions with your subjects. How does this interaction influence the final image that you present?

Mou Aysha : My photography is about building deep connections with those I photograph. Before even thinking about the picture, I focus on forming real relationships with my subjects. This means every photo is a result of a journey we share, where trust and understanding grow.

A Chronicle of Compassion: Exclusive Interview with Mou Aysha - Retro Kolkata The Global Edition

I start this process well before taking any pictures. I talk, listen, and connect with each person. This makes them a vital part of my journey, and they reveal their feelings and stories when I capture their photo. This connection shapes the final image in a big way. It's not just my view; it's a team effort, showing their experiences and feelings. The strong bond we create lets their true selves shine, making the photo a powerful reflection of their story. This process highlights our shared journey, where their trust and openness are key to making a picture that's both meaningful and impactful.

Retro Kolkata :As a photographer, you explore a variety of subjects, from portraits to street life and travel. Could you share with us one particular shoot or experience that deeply impacted you?

Mou Aysha : In my 10-year journey as a photographer, I've had the privilege of encountering countless impactful stories. While it's tough to pick just one, a specific project stands out.

A Chronicle of Compassion: Exclusive Interview with Mou Aysha - Retro Kolkata The Global Edition

I've been immersed in a portrait series focusing on the distinctive eye colors of people in Bangladesh. This project transcends photography, delving into the societal implications tied to these eye colors. Individuals with uncommon hues, like green or blue eyes, often face unfair judgments and exclusion, even from their own identity as Bangladeshis. It's disheartening to witness such wonderful people marginalized due to the beauty of their eyes.

A Chronicle of Compassion: Exclusive Interview with Mou Aysha - Retro Kolkata The Global Edition

This venture has shown me the intricate web of societal biases, even in something as simple as eye color. It's a stark reminder to challenge stereotypes and celebrate our diverse world. Through this series, I aim to capture the resilience of these individuals, sharing their stories as a testament to the extraordinary beauty within our differences.

Retro Kolkata :You’ve been inspired by renowned photographers like GMB Akash. Could you tell us more about how these mentors have shaped your approach towards photography, especially the humanitarian aspect of it?

Mou Aysha : GMB Akash has had a profound impact not only on me but on countless young photographers like myself. His influence has shaped not only my approach to photography but also my perspective on being a compassionate human being. His writings and photographs resonate deep within us, teaching us kindness and empathy, guiding us to become better humans.

A Chronicle of Compassion: Exclusive Interview with Mou Aysha - Retro Kolkata The Global Edition

What truly sets him apart is his genuine respect for his subjects and the relationships he nurtures with them. His kindness is evident in both his work and his interactions. GMB Akash doesn't merely capture images; he extends his support to the people he photographs, making a positive difference in their lives. He's a transformative individual who has taught me invaluable lessons in my journey as a humanitarian photographer. I feel incredibly fortunate to have him as a mentor, as his influence continually reminds me of the power of compassion and connection in this field.

Retro Kolkata :You've spoken about the beauty in every face you encounter. In an age where digitally altered images are common, how important do you think it is to present authenticity in your work?

Mou Aysha : In a world of digitally altered images, maintaining authenticity in my work as a women humanitarian portrait photographer is crucial. Each face I capture carries a unique story, and my aim is to honor and amplify those narratives through genuine, unaltered depictions.

A Chronicle of Compassion: Exclusive Interview with Mou Aysha - Retro Kolkata The Global Edition

Authenticity is especially meaningful in my field. Showing the raw emotions and real experiences of my subjects is vital for upholding their dignity and narrative integrity. It's a means to counter the unrealistic beauty standards often perpetuated by media. By presenting unretouched, authentic faces, I celebrate the beauty that emerges from embracing one's genuine self.

Retro Kolkata :Your journey with the First Light Institute of Photography seems to have been a defining part of your career. Could you share more about how this institution has shaped not just your technical skills, but also your humanitarian perspective?

Mou Aysha : My time at the GMB Akash Institute of Photography has transformed my career and perspective. It's more than a photography school; it's a place where I've learned to be a skilled photographer and a compassionate human being. Under GMB Akash's guidance, I've embraced the ethical side of photography – understanding that it's not just about technical expertise but capturing stories with empathy, respect, and dignity. This institute has instilled in me a profound sense of responsibility when capturing moments.

A Chronicle of Compassion: Exclusive Interview with Mou Aysha - Retro Kolkata The Global Edition

Through this institute, I've grasped ethics, empathy, and the importance of preserving human stories. I now believe in photography's ability to create positive change, spotlight untold narratives, and foster understanding. It's not just a school; it shapes us into caring, responsible individuals, equipped with the skills to tell the world's stories authentically.

Retro Kolkata :As a photographer, what kind of impact do you hope your photographs have on your audience? Are there any social changes or awareness you aim to evoke through your work?

Mou Aysha : My photography aims to bring positivity to my audience. I want to show the beauty, diversity, and emotions of people to inspire appreciation for each individual. Kindness and empathy are values I hope to encourage through my work, reminding people to treat each other compassionately.

A Chronicle of Compassion: Exclusive Interview with Mou Aysha - Retro Kolkata The Global Edition

I believe my images can drive positive change. I'm committed to making a difference for my people and country. Even in small ways, I want my work to contribute to society's betterment. By giving voice to untold stories and catalyzing change, my photography connects, inspires, and advocates for positive transformations.

Retro Kolkata :In an interview, you’ve mentioned that you believe that with empathy, compassion, and love, artists can change the world for the better. How have you seen this belief come to life in your own work or in the broader field of humanitarian photography?

Mou Aysha : My strong belief in how empathy, compassion, and love in art can create positive change guides my work as a female portrait and documentary photographer. I've seen this belief in action in my own experiences and across the field of humanitarian photography.

A Chronicle of Compassion: Exclusive Interview with Mou Aysha - Retro Kolkata The Global Edition

In my work, I've found that approaching subjects with genuine care has a profound impact. Building personal connections helps me capture authentic stories. This not only leads to powerful images but also leaves a positive impact on their lives. Showing their experiences with compassion helps viewers empathize, encouraging them to see the world from different viewpoints.

Retro Kolkata :Looking ahead, what are some themes or projects you're excited to explore in your future work? Is there a dream project that you hope to work on one day?

Mou Aysha : Looking ahead, I'm eager to explore various themes and projects in my future work. One of my strong desires is to extensively explore my own country. Traveling to every corner of my homeland, capturing the beauty and stories of its people, is a dream project that deeply resonates with me. There's an incredible wealth of stories and perspectives within my own country, waiting to be unveiled and shared.

Ultimately, my future work envisions connecting with people worldwide through portraits that tell their stories and experiences. Whether near or far, each project is an opportunity to celebrate the beauty of diversity and the shared human experience.

A Chronicle of Compassion: Exclusive Interview with Mou Aysha - Retro Kolkata The Global Edition

Mou Aysha stands as a beacon in the world of humanitarian photography, constantly reminding us of the beauty and resilience that resides in every face she encounters. Through her lens, she presents a world teeming with authentic stories, woven together with threads of compassion, empathy, and understanding. As we eagerly anticipate her future works, one thing is certain — her photographs will continue to be a powerful testament to the intricate and beautiful tapestry of human experiences. With a heart full of hope and a camera in hand, Aysha strides forward, ready to unveil more untold stories, one click at a time.

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We are thrilled to announce the upcoming 'AURA 2024 - The International Photography & Art Exhibition and Grand Felicitation Ceremony', following the resounding success of last year's event. This prestigious gathering will be held at Kolkata's renowned 'Nazrul Tirtha' Art Gallery (Action Area I, Newtown, Kolkata 700156) from January 13 to January 21, 2024. The event promises an international stage for artists and photographers handpicked globally to display their masterpieces alongside the mesmerizing works of esteemed artists from over 25 participating countries, all under the spotlight of national media.

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Step into the boundless world of art with Retro Kolkata Magazine - The Global Edition. Beyond a magazine, it's a collectible tome celebrating the global tapestry of creativity. Delve into seven chapters unveiling the wonders of artistry across different mediums, uniting readers in a rich conversation that transcends borders. Embrace this cherished keepsake, a luminous narrative of human expression and interconnected art forms.

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