Q&A: Anu Kumar

21.06.17

Have you recently been living by any life philosophy? Living life with the confidence of a mediocre white dude..I think Sarah Hagi tweeted that. What will baffle future generations about our day and age? I’m hoping living for social media will become a shameful thing of the past. Are you aware of any conspiracies? Just the ones in Zeitgeist, I’ve forgotten them all now…so no. What is it that interests you about photography? That it allows me to express what I can’t through words or any other medium. What is the worst thing about city life? That it feels competitive, and often like my own plans aren’t cool enough. What part of the planet would you like to explore? Mongolia and Tasmania. If you had to align yourself with a leader in history, who would it be? Bhagat Singh, an Indian socialist revolutionary. Pick a field of science to be an expert within. Quantum physics. What moment have you most wished you’d had a camera when you hadn’t? I normally regret taking a camera rather than the other way around. Sometimes it can get in the way of my enjoyment. Choose a job you would be willing to do for free on the side. Maths Tutor.

Describe the most important photo you’ve seen. There is a photo of my grandparents and my mother playing cards in front of their haveli in the 1960’s. I’ve heard stories of the opulent life my mother experienced growing up in India, and i’ve always found it so unreal. This photo validates all the stories. How often do you take other people’s advice? More often then I should. Describe a personal hell. Being late for something important while stuck in city traffic. Which living person do you most admire? My naniji (Grandmother). Shes one of those ladies who could have done great things if she was born in a different time. Charismatic, beautiful and intelligent all at once. On what occasion do you lie? To get out of things I don’t want to do. What was the last crime you witnessed? A drunken white man on the train yelling racial slurs. What is the best way to educate yourself? Doing new things. Listening to and being respectful/receptive of others lived experiences. What is the next book you want to read? The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy. Ultimate camera? Yashica 124g mat with a working light meter. Most used camera? Yashica 124g mat with a broken light meter. What object do you want? A house in Mumbai. What object do you need? Nothing right now.

How would you explain the internet to someone from the 1950’s? A tool with all the information that you could possibly want, that allows you to connect to anywhere in the world… but it often takes the fun out of things. Are you satisfied with your level of physical strength? Nope, i’m 5 foot tall so tend to use that as excuse to not work out. Describe a cheap thrill. Stomping on crunchy leaves. Pick an historic moment from the last hundred years to bring a camera to. My parents wedding. My uncle who was in charge of photography at the wedding was clumsy and we lost all the photos. Are impulses more important than consequences? Nope, be considerate and understand how your actions will impact your loved ones. Which talent would you most like to have? Ability to read light like a light meter. What is your plan for the next 24 hours? Seeing friends, texting friends, cleaning my room, drinking chai by the fireplace and if I have time i’ll find some crunchy leaves to stomp on.

Nagar, meaning ‘town’ in Hindi is a photo series that emerged from my recent trip to my hometown of Kavi Nagar, Ghaziabad. The town has a modest population and is situated roughly two hours from Delhi. I captured this series of images while accompanying my two aunts on our daily 4pm wanders around the village. When visiting Kavi Nagar throughout my childhood, it always seemed fairly unremarkable. However during my recent trip, I was able to explore beyond the seemingly mundane to discover the surprisingly fascinating true nature of my hometown. These images are a small excerpt of an ongoing body of work.

Anu Kumar is an Australian documentary photographer based in Melbourne, Australia. Born in India and raised in Australia, Anu uses photography as a medium to explore her two homes. To see more of Anu’s work visit — anukumarphotography.com