by Aditi Madhok

Paying attention to lighting, setting, composition, and expression; the following two photos have been crafted with an intention. The purpose of this assignment was to confirm that people are quick to assume and make prejudgements about an individual based on one image. However, there is more to one’s story than the first impression.

My aim in the first photo was to depict pride in my Indian heritage by wearing a traditional outfit of a lengha, being adorned with jewelry of bangles, and having khussa shoes on my feet while confidence exudes from my straight posture. The second photo was to depict the erosion or fading of my culture through Indowestern clothing and wedge sandals, while my body language shows being wary of society’s perceptions with sagged shoulders. This is an internal conflict that exists within me today. At times I have no problem being in contact with my Indian heritage and in being openly revealing about it. Other times, I have race inferiority complexes where I am ashamed to be associated with it, and try to be more subtle about it in order to fit in.