Rotterdam Photo

Debmalya Choudhuri

A Factless Autobiography

Confronting tuberculosis at the young age of 17 forced me to live in isolation for a prolonged period. After a few years, the suicide of a lover put me in a similar position- a certain alienation, despair, and failure to come to terms with the trauma of loss and death. Tragedies shape the human in you.

A Factless Autobiography, based on the book by Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa, reflects my understanding of human desire, gender, identity, and the often overlooked but complicated relationship between mourning and melancholia. I try to achieve this through portraits of my encounters with strangers, vis-a-vis- images of the self, creating a playful back-and-forth between the self and the other. 

Through this game of intimate exchanges, I come closer to understanding what it is to occupy a “queer” existence, as a South Asian immigrant in the politically fragmented landscape of America.  In its experience with the gestures of the body, desire, and space, this journey strives to look beyond the presupposed zones of identity and representation to think of the anonymous, erotic, and uncertain forms of sociality- death, disappearance, and the fragmentary passage of people and places.

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Instagram: @debchoudhuri

Rotterdam Photo

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