Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: Feminist Art Base: Tejal Shah

The barge she sat in, like a burnished throne/Burned on the water (from the hijra fantasy series)

The barge she sat in, like a burnished throne/Burned on the water (from the hijra fantasy series)

Tejal Shah. The barge she sat in, like a burnished throne/Burned on the water (from the hijra fantasy series), 2006.

Description:
I started this body of work thinking about queer lives in the Indian context. For the last two years I have been working with the hijra (MTF transsexual) community from Bombay and Bangalore. In some sense, for many of us (LGBTQ people), our desires are lived in the realm of fantasy or hidden from the public eye. I wanted to breathe life into some of these fantasies. I started to speak with individuals, with whom i had developed a close relationship, about their desires and how they saw themselves in a fantastic world. What would they be if they had the choice to be whatever they wished to be? This is a photograph of Laxmi, a very well known hijra, human rights activist based in Bombay. Laxmi is obsessed with Cleopatra and expressed the wish to become her. Extended conversations and research preceded the conceiving of this image. I have tired to retain as much of Laxmi's personality in this contemporary, queer and Indian version of Cleopatra.

Medium:
Photography

Tags:
fantasy, hijra, queer, transgender, photography, performance, desire, India, Cleopatra, MTF, queer

Images
The barge she sat in, like a burnished throne/Burned on the water (from the hijra fantasy series)You too can touch the moon – Yashoda with Krishna (from the hijra fantasy series)Southern Siren - Maheshwari (from the hijra fantasy series)Encounter(s), live performance, Turbine Hall, TATE ModernEncounter(s)Encounter(s)Back to Front III

Videos
"What are You?"I LOVE MY INDIAChingari Chumma/Stinging Kiss

Location
Bombay, Maharashtra
India

Contact
ts@vsnl.net

Text, images, audio, and/or video in the Feminist Art Base are copyrighted by the contributing artists unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.