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.
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.
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.
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 i