Monday, 18 March 2013

Up & Coming: Sunil Shah

Sunil Shah is a photographer and artist based in Oxford, England. His current work explores new and conceptual modes of documentary as art. In 2012 he graduated from the University of Westminster, London with a BA in Photography. Last year, he curated two, well received, exhibitions and had Uganda Stories selected by John Duncan in Source magazine’s Graduate Online Selection 2012. He is currently working on a book version of Uganda Stories and due to curate an exhibition for the Ugandan Asian Exiles Project later this year at the Royal Geographic Society.

This project is both a subjective journey to recollect the past and an interrogation of documentary photography in its use to reassemble fragments of history. In 1972 the Ugandan military dictator, Idi Amin expelled 80,000 Asians from the country. I was 3 years old when my family was forced to leave their lives and possessions behind and move to the UK. This research of my family's origins included analysis of photographs, objects and interview transcripts based on separate dialogues with my father and two of his brothers.  


What emerged and can be seen in this fragmented photo-text sequence are objects from dusty storage and extracts from long forgotten anecdotes: there were slowly fading stories and isolated images of diminishing memories. As time advances these stories and images move out of the personal and collective consciousness and move into the public realm of ethnographic colonial histories. 

The full project can be seen here: