Confined

June 11, 2014
gloriaku
Documentary, Film
0 Comments

A hypothetical look into the life of a Rajasthani princess of yore, this video portrays a rarely accounted perspective from behind the bars of a fortified zenana.

Rajasthan, a land possessing the charm of a fairytale covered with an exotic blush of the desert dust. It’s architectural wonders, stories of fearless warriors and colourful cities made the state one of the top travel destinations in India. But somehow amongst this indisputable beauty and beneath the tales of courage and honour, the sad history remains mostly unnoticed.

This video depicts the other side of the state – the mostly unknown perspective of its princesses of yore. Seclusion of women, forced by the pride and tradition, in traveler’s eyes may seem like an exotic fable or a chapter of a dusty romantic novel. The thrill of living in a harem of a testosterone pumped warrior-lover is a common misconception, fuelled by the guidebooks, that conceals the misery of many wasted lives, loneliness within the walls of one’s own home and deep-rooted sadness.

This short video is an attempt to convey the feeling of emptiness and hopelessness that touched me as a visitor to Rajasthan’s fabulous mansions and palaces. But especially, it shows the sadness of two people, supposedly a husband and a wife, both desiring and needing love as all human beings but being trapped and confined by the complex web of beliefs, social expectations and stereotypes. The video explores one of the possibilities…

Transcript:

Secluded in zenanas, birds in a golden cage. Manoeuvring through galleries behind the elaborate sandstone bars. Concubines and wives, all those fates confined by overbearing male hands. A breathing mausoleum, a house to solitude. Can love still live here?

Through a pinhole, heartrendingly, stalking shadows. Banned even from speaking to the husband [in daylight]… restricted just to signing. Only through a casement, only from afar. Hidden behind the purdah even in the husband’s house.

She, silenced with lavishness, soothed with opulence, lulled by the fairytales of honour and shame.
She, who is of a man, for that man and by that man. Where does She escape?

________

(Grand Prize winner of the “India Is” competition organised by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs.)

________

// Camera : Canon 5d Mark II
// Lenses : Canon 100 2.8 IS, Sigma 50 1.4
// Editing/Grading : After Effects
// Music : Escala – Requiem For A Tower

________

//Director/ DOP/ Editor: Gloria Kurnik

________

For stills, check the project on behance.

________

Tags: , , ,

Jodhpur Take me Home

gloriaku
Documentary, Photo-Story
0 Comments
Tags: , ,

Andhra in Portraits

gloriaku
Documentary, Photo-Story
0 Comments

In 2009 I was on my first assignment in India – making a guidebook for Tourism Board of Andhra Pradesh. We travelled around the state quite extensively and every single moment was inspiring the creativity and imagination.

During this brief month I found myself taking portraits for the first time and I took more than ever after. There was something unique and fresh in my approach to India’s people back then and I long for this innocence ever since.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Girl in Hyderabad

Boy and his goat pet on a market in Hyderabad

Man resting in front of his shop, Hyderabad.

An elderly lady from a Banjara tribe.

A sadhu man in a temple.

Schoolgirl in Hyderabad.

Dad and son on a market in Hyderabad.

A boy at the market in Hyderabad.

Elderly lady, Andhra Pradesh.

Banjara lady, Andhra Pradesh.

Man selling perfumes at the market in Hyderabad.

Kids near a market in Hyderabad.

Seller at the market, Andhra Pradesh.

Seller at the market in Andhra Pradesh.

Herder, Andhra Pradesh

Seller at the fruit market in Andhra.

Fisherman, Visakhapatnam.

Fishermen showing off their catch

A lady sorting fish in the harbour, Visakhapatnam.

Fruit seller, Visakhapatnam.

Farmer, Andhra Pradesh.

Crying girl, Andhra Pradesh.

Ladies of the house.

Man selling samosas, Charminar, Hyderabad.

Herder in Andhra

Banjara lady, portrait. Andhra Pradesh

Tags:

Rajput’s Legacy

gloriaku
Documentary, Photo-Story
0 Comments
Tags: , , ,

Day Cycle on the River

gloriaku
Uncategorized
0 Comments
Tags: , ,

Rural Kerala

gloriaku
Photo-Story
0 Comments

Rural Kerala Title

Kerala Rice field

birds in the lush green field

Smiling people of Kerala

A farmer sowing rice in a field in Kerala.

Off beaten path, elderly lady walking in Kerala.

Lady washing dishes in a small river in Kerala.

A girl in front of her home in Kerala.

Men joking around in front of the wall they're painting in Kerala.

Man cutting grass in backwaters canal in Kerala

Elderly man waiting for a river boat on his house small jetty

Grandfather and Grandson selling in a shop in rural Kerala

Man climbing a palm tree in Kerala

 

Tags: , ,

Theyyam

April 26, 2014
gloriaku
Documentary, Photo-Story
0 Comments
  • In this world the sacred meets the profane, the gods decent on Earth to listen to their beloved people, and the mysticism is born far away from hum of crowded cities in the purity of the woodlands.
  • IMG_4692Theyyam1
  • "Theyyam turns the world upside down" says a performer. In the land dominated by the caste system, where once the poor and untouchable were even refused to enter the temples, Theyyam is a cry for justice. And the cry so loud that it continues to scare even the highest caste of Brahmins.
  • Theyyam is a worship of masses, emerged as an answer to their plights and misstreatment. Since only the "untouchables" have the right to perform the rites, Theyyam elevates the poorest almost to the level of the gods. It's a reminder that god is everywhere, not only in splendid temples, but also sacred forests, not only in the consecrated priests but in a heart of every single person.
  • IMG_4897Theyyam1web
  • IMG_5014web
  • IMG_5070web
  • IMG_5198Theyyam1web
  • IMG_5326web
  • IMG_5141web
  • IMG_5172web
  • IMG_5238-1web
  • Theyyam changes with every year, it alters with each avatar, no two acts are the same. It's not a theatrical performance but an evolving entity. The pantheon of Theyyam gods is countless, the same as the number of problem it addresses.
Tags: , , , ,

Director’s Reel 2013

February 28, 2014
gloriaku
Documentary, Photo-Story, Reel
0 Comments

 

Some of my favourite shots up to 2013. Filmed in Malaysia, India, Thailand and USA.

All scenes were directed, shot, edited and graded by me.

____________________________

// Camera : Canon 5d Mark II, Canon 7d
// Lenses : Canon 100 2.8 IS, Sigma 50 1.4, Canon 70-200 2.8 L IS, Canon 17-40 F4 L
// Editing/Grading : After Effects, Premiere Pro
// Music : Otso- …And never was

____________________________

 

Self -Shooting Director

Self-Shooting Director

Self-Shooting Director

Gloria Kurnik, Self-Shooting Director

Gloria Kurnik, Self-Shooting Director

Gloria Kurnik, Self Shooting Director

Gloria Kurnik, Self-Shooting Director

____________________________

Tags: , , ,

Living the Love – Documentary about Thaipusam

gloriaku
Documentary, Film, Video
0 Comments

thaipusam red 2 def 4

 

Every religion has its culture of atonements and vows. Bigger the wish or deeper the gratitude, more eager is the follower to undertake an arduous and grueling journey. A Christian would walk miles on his knees out of faith. A Buddhist would prostrate and crawl on her stomach to gain her inner peace. A Muslim would self-flagellate to convey his sorrow while a Hindu would renounce the things she loves most out of devotion. But some take it even further.

Piercing the body out of faith is a custom in most of the older religions. Though it may induce fear, doubt and anxiety, it is also associated with a certain sense of mysticism and spirituality. I witnessed Thaipusam – the magical Hindu festival where devotees in a state of trance, painlessly carry offerings and symbols of faith in the form of heavy burdens (milk pots, kavadi, karagam) and/or have a range of intriguing attachments hooked to their body. But beyond the images of unbelievable crowds and fanfare, I also witnessed love, trust and devotion merging into an expression of faith through self-sacrifice. For many, Thaipusam is all about the flourish and the obscure customs. For many tourists, it is the defining evidence of the unique multi-cultural life in Malaysia. For many amateur photographers, it’s one of those places where you capture that ‘one’ unforgettable picture.

For me it’s a story of love. I decided to capture this event through the eyes of a couple – a, married childless couple who apart from their love for their God have been loving each other for 9 long years. It’s a personal story and a personal journey…

karagam red 2 def

kavadi red 2 def

________

Greatest thanks to the people without whom the production of this video wouldn’t be possible: Malliga, Murugan, Paulius, Sayan, Chris, Ragu and Durai.

________

// Director/DP/Editor: Gloria Kurnik

________

// Camera : Canon 7d, Canon 5d Mark II
// Lenses : Canon 24mm 1.4, Canon 50 1.8
// Editing/Grading : Premiere Pro
// Music : Karma Groove from jewelbeat.com

________

For postcards and posters, check out the project on behance.

________

Tags: , , , ,