Indian born fashion photographer Sanjyot Telang’s latest project has redefined beauty and its understanding. Telang, who is based in Paris, recently collaborated with NGO Kimkan to do a photo shoot of girls with Down Syndrome. Through this project, called Fashion Misfits, Telang has presented the idea of beauty which is beyond its conventional understanding.
According to Telang’s Instagram post about this project, photo shoot was done at a studio in Byculla, Mumbai.
In an interview with My Medical Mantra, Telang shares her experience of the photo shoot.
How did you come up with the idea of doing a photo shoot of young women with Down Syndrome?
I had a dream about these images around two years ago. But, it took me a while to execute the idea.
How difficult or easy was it to execute the idea?
I think it was a mix of both. For example, pitching of the idea to kids and their family was easy, but getting right team on board and the production part was a task. The kids were a delight. Contrary to the general assumptions, they were absolutely at ease and were posing naturally.
How was your experience?
Personally, I had a soul-melting experience.
My own perspective about interacting with people changed a bit. Like everyone, I had my assumptions and apprehensions, but all were put to rest by these free-spirited and kind-hearted girls.
Did this experience have any impact on your outlook towards life?
It surely has impacted my life in a huge way. We are all so accustomed to complaining about petty things that we don’t even realise that there are others who may have real problems to deal with, which we can’t even imagine. Such experiences get you thinking about your own strengths, limitations and definitions of happiness.
How was your interaction with young women?
In the beginning, communication posed a slight problem, but it got easier with each meeting. These girls are happiest bunch of people I’ve ever met in my life.
Have you done any other similar work in past where you’ve interacted with the specially-abled?
This was my very first project.
How important is to create awareness on these topics and be open-minded?
I think it’s an urgent need right now. We are growing to become too self-involved these days. For once, we need to keep our ego aside and work purely on empathy. As artists, we have a certain responsibility to make our society more open-minded, accepting and compassionate.
Some of the photographs from project Fashion Misfit
Team Fashion Misfits
Fashion Styling: Debangini Nath
Hair & make up: Romi Thokchom
Assistants: Talib Chitalwala / Natasha Nair / Sachin Salunkhe
NGO coordinator: Yojana Wavikar for Kimkan
Production Support: Azhar Sayed for Aditi Productions / Raman Lamba for Twism Design Productions
To visit Sanjyot Telang’s website, click here