by Abhishek Khedekar

Tamasha, Khedekar’s experimental docu-fiction, follows a 100-person nomadic troupe of Dalit ‘families’ performing Tamasha: a travelling form combining dance, music, and visual art, dating back to the 1800s that criss-crosses the state of Maharashtra. As post-independence India moved away from rural dance and song forms, Tamasha became stigmatised, polarised and relegated in Indian society. Khedekar’s images dive into the complexity of this sociocultural fabric with a dizzying array of artistic techniques, by utilising archival material, collage, documentary photography, performance, sound and video. Khedekar’s bricolage of experimental visual narratives elevates the make-do, unpretentious attitude of Tamasha performance into a unique aesthetic of song, community and expression: situating Tamasha’s traditions in modern India.