A Way To Be Together Again is a project that I hope achieves what the name suggests. My grandparents on my maternal side are no longer alive. I was really, really close to them and affectionately called them Nanu and Dadubhai. There’s definitely a void that I feel (and I think also my family feels) without their presence anymore. This project is my way to link up my family again.
I started this project by choosing old photos of my family. I’d found them in a large black safe in my family’s flat in Ballygunge, Kolkata in the summer of 2015. Nanu was still alive at the time. The photos were all small and square sized. The only way to keep them with me, so that I could peruse them whenever I wished, was to take photos of the photographs. Up until now I’d just go through my photos and look at them.
For example, I placed a background of the Glen Island Harbor Club in New Rochelle (where I used to row for SLC) behind the first image of my grandmother (whom I call Nanu). The next image of my grandfather (whom I call Dadubhai) is placed in front of a sacred space in Haridwar, India. The third image is of my aunt (on the left) and my mom (on the right) and they’re placed above a road in Georgia (my home state). My mom on her bicycle is placed on a railroad track outside of Delhi, India. The next image of my grandmother (holding either my aunt or my mom) is placed in front of the sky seen outside of my home in Duluth, Georgia. My aunt holding my mom is placed in an image of the seating area Hartsfield-Jackson airport. The next image of my grandfather is placed in front of an image taken on the roads/mountains near Kotdwar, India. The following image of my aunt and my mom (wearing a shirt with two buttons opposed to my aunt’s three buttons) is placed near a river in Kotdwar, India. The final background photo is an image I took in Paris when I was sixteen. I placed all four members of the Das family in the front, where I think they belong.
I used a lot of effects in After Effects to create the dreamlike state the photos exist in. I used Particle Systems, Particle World, Kaleidoscope, Digital Glitch, and Glow effects. I think these effects helped me achieve the dreamlike state. Furthermore, I used a lot of text effects to create the title and the end credits. I also decided to include trim path lines through the piece to make it dynamic. I think the trim paths lines I included are a little bit of a surprise. It’s not something the viewer would expect, I think.
I am proud of the project and wouldn’t really change it. I am so happy to have made something that is both personal and cultural in Digital Tools.