A lens on Mental Health - Part II

Panel Discussion

Date: Oct 24, 2020
Time: 07:30 pm - 10:00 pm IST
Venue: Zoom


Join us for the second of a two-part discussion centered around different facets of mental health. The panellists will share about their experiences documenting and understanding of how stigma and awareness of mental health varies across different communities.


1/ Anita Sathiam 

2/ Mitul Kajaria 

3/ Salgu Wissmath

4/ Shadman Shahid 

Anita Sathiam 

In 2009, Anita Sathiam was diagnosed with symptoms of cancer. This incident made her pursue photography as a practice beyond just a hobby. During the cyclone strike at Cuddalore in 2011, she was able to photograph remote parts of the village that were difficult for the relief workers to reach. With the help of her friends to start a fundraiser, they managed to build six houses for the women who lost their homes during the cyclone. An unfortunate accident caused her to halt a project documenting 365 working women hailing from the surrounding villages. 

She moved to Chennai in 2018 and worked as a translator for cartoons from various languages to tamil. During this period, she had the opportunity to work with one of the finest film makers in the country, Shri Adoor Gopalakrishnan in a Malayalam movie as a stills photographer. 

She has been working on her project, “Nithya, The Hope”, the story of a cancer victim and wishes to support Nithya’s daughter. 

“2009 was a critical year for me, I was diagnosed with cancer. Until I recovered from that fatal illness, I hadn’t realised how gifted I am to have this precious life. It made me grateful and I was fortunate enough to overcome all the hurdles of my pain and depression.” - Anita Sathiam

Mitul Kajaria 

Mitul Kajaria is an architect, photo-artist, and curator based in Ahmedabad. The primary themes of his work are the exploration of architecture and its relation to the city; and mental health. His recent work, a collaborative installation, Dehari, has been shortlisted for the upcoming Seoul Architecture Biennale 2021. He was the Curator for Visual Arts at Abhivyakti: a multidisciplinary public arts festival in 2019.

Apart from practicing independently, he works as an associate curator at Satya Art Gallery and with Rangjyot, a fine art print and digitization studio, and archive.

Quote: “The stigma around mental health is classless; it’s evident across all strata of society. It takes years of unlearning to get rid of this stigma; to begin existing without guilt and with candor.” - Mitul Kajaria

Salgu Wissmath 

Salgu Wissmath (they/them/theirs) is a nonbinary photographer based in Sacramento, California. They are dedicated to decolonizing the field of photography by focusing on stories by and for people of color and the queer community. Their personal work explores the intersections of mental health, queer identity, and faith from a conceptual documentary approach. Salgu recently completed a Masters of Photography at Ohio University and is currently freelancing for editorial publications and nonprofits in Northern California.

“The thing that has the biggest negative impact on the mental health of transgender and other LGBTQ+ folks is lack of acceptance by friends, family, and society.” - Salgu Wissmath

Shadman Shahid

Shadman Shahid is a photographer, film maker and educator born and raised in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. His work is about the precarity of the corporeal and the spiritual human conditions in contemporary society. His artistic methodology walks the line between documentary and fiction and usually, in his work, the content drives the aesthetics. He relies heavily on magic-realism as a storytelling method. He is currently based in the Netherlands, working on his personal projects, while teaching at the Royal Academy of Art in Hague and Willem De Kooning Academie in Rotterdam.

“Mental health and wellness is a basic human need which, sadly, our current social structure is turning into a luxury that can be afforded by a few.” - Shadman Shahid 

To join the Panel - 

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