TRUTH DREAM A photo exhibition on beauty, ageing and fantasy | Milaap
TRUTH DREAM A photo exhibition on beauty, ageing and fantasy
of Rs.6,00,000
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    from Bengaluru, Karnataka

80G tax benefits for INR donations

An interactive photo exhibition on aging, beauty and fantasy
Tracing experiences and dreams of the sexuality minority community

Chandini, the co-founder of Payana, an organization working towards protecting the rights and dignity of the sexuality minorities community in Karnataka, a poet and trans activist has conceptualised ‘TRUTH DREAM” a photo exhibition which will feature 12 friends who identify as transwomen, transmen, Kothi and gender non-conforming individuals from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. What makes this project unique is that participants are above the age of 50 years. Given that many fall prey to violence, discrimination and agony, which leads to suicide or murder, it is rare for individuals from sexual minority communities to make it so far. At this age, people themselves feel that desire wanes and beauty fades.

The twelve community models hope to challenge this perception by embodying their fantasies: cabaret and classical dancers, ideal women, queens and goddesses from Tamil and Kannada films of the 60s; figures who inspire them to date, fantasies they could not realise in real life. Dreams and desires come to life in this exhibition that blurs the line between ‘Truth’ and ‘Dream’. “It is a process for all of us to feel the closest to our dreams and reveal our inner beauty. We could never fulfil our dreams fully, this process will transform each one of us. Also, it will make society and the younger generation recognise us differently.” shared Revathi, a renowned writer, actor and activist who is also part of the show. The exhibition also subtly and playfully challenges power dynamics of beauty, gender, sexuality and caste discrimination. The exhibition is not only celebratory, but unravels wistfulness and the resilience and creativity that carried them so far. It is a story about their strength in friendship, to journey along together.

Maraa, a Bangalore-based arts and media collective, is managing the technical, production and financial aspects of this project. Together with a team of costume designers, backdrop designers, makeup artists, painters, photographers, musicians and illustrators, we hope to bring this dream to life.

The exhibit is imagined as an installation, enveloped in a soundscape that will remind the viewer of sights and sounds we have all experienced before in cities. Visually and sonically, working with stylised aesthetic forms, it aims to highlight the nuances and textures of every dream figure, without missing out on the tiny details of aging, beauty and fantasy. The images will be accompanied by their life stories based on in-depth interviews and conversations with each of the individuals. They will be displayed along with the photographs, in order to highlight different moments in their lives. These stories will contribute to a living archive of knowledge about the lives of sexuality minorities in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The exhibition will challenge the common perceptions of stigma, discrimination and prejudice that usually surround the community. It would eventually act as an advocacy tool to educate, consider and include sexual minority communities in society with dignity, love and respect.

This photo-exhibit is conceptualised by Chandini, curated by Maraa and owned by Payana who will have full control and autonomy in deciding where the images will be displayed.

This exhibit will first be displayed publicly on Reginald Watts’ (fondly known as Rex) birth anniversary, on October 22nd, 2021. This exhibition is a tribute to him from the community who remember him as a dear friend, comrade and trans activist who fought for the rights and dignity of sexual minorities.

Introducing the team (in Alphabetical Order)
  1. Atelier Prati -  Backdrop Design 
  2. Falana Films – Documentation and Films
  3. Jaisingh Nageswaran, Photographer 
  4. Joe Panicker, Sound Designer
  5. Maraa – Curators and Artist Management 
  6. Payana – Concept and Coordination for Truth Dream
  7. Priyanka Kumar - Graphic Designer and Illustrator 
  8. Rudra Rakshit Sharan - Photographer 
  9. Sankeerthi Aipanjiguly -Costume and Jewellery Designer 
  10. Zeeshan - Make Up Artist & Hair Stylist

We will show this exhibit in public spaces, educational institutions, art galleries and would help it travel to biennales, shows and exhibitions, nationally and internationally. Participants will be present at the exhibits to interact with audiences and share their journeys one-on-one. We would also make an online space, to function as a virtual exhibition.

We have managed to secure partial funding for the project from Fund for Global Human Rights but we need to raise 6 lakhs to meet production, design and display costs without any compromise.

Your support will go towards costumes that will be custom-made for each of the participants, backdrops to enhance their dream locations, materials and equipment for photographers to capture this with the best possible set up. Any contribution, small or large, will go a long way in bringing this dream to life and above all making all of them experience what is closest to their dreams.

All contributors will be acknowledged for their support.
Rs. 1000/-5000/  Special Mention of Name/Organisation in all public display materials
Rs. 5000/-20000/ Special Mention of Name/Organisation in all public display materials
+ a set of 12 TRUTH DREAM postcards
Rs. 20000-50000/ Special Mention of Name/Organisation in all public display materials
+ a set of 12 TRUTH DREAM postcards + 2-4 Manually Processed Prints of the TRUTH DREAM models + a home cooked meal with the community members at Maraa
Rs. 50,000-100,000/ Special Mention of Name/Organisation in all public display materials
+ a set of 12 TRUTH DREAM postcards + 6-12 Manually Processed Prints of the TRUTH DREAM models + a home cooked meal at maraa

We look forward to your support!
team payana and team maraa

for more information please write to

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