The disappearance of the travelling cinema in the outskirts of our cities can be alluded to several factors – the least of which is not the real estate boom because vacant land is swiftly being built upon. But, seen along with the rise of the multiplex, it also suggests the end of film watching as the experience of an inclusive community. Where tent cinemas were once associated with afternoon shows of Bhakta Kumbhara and Maya Bazaar, there is something furtive about them today, and it is perhaps only in the dark that they come into their own.
This photo essay is dedicated to the tent cinema as it is today – surviving away from the glare of the metropolis, in crevices towards which the noses of the law are not pointed and where a faint whiff of illegality hangs in the air. The tent cinema is increasingly a male reserve, but the men seen there are even defiant in their masculinity, as their studied indifference and sardonic stares suggest. Whether employee or client, the people shown in these images seem rarely content only to be. Their “fall” perhaps needs masking – at least through a parting show of bravado.
About Pradeep K S
Pradeep KS is a photographer and freelance designer. His primary focus of inquiry is the shifting, ductile and transitory nature of the modern metropolis, as represented by its decay as well as its renewal and germination. He is particularly drawn to the rituals that lie beneath the veneer of urbanity with which the city clothes itself; the daily baptisms, bloodletting and antique liturgy that invigorates its being. In his efforts at documenting this quality of the metropolis, Pradeep spends significant portions of his time flitting about urban settlements and the exurban satellite clusters that are held in their gravitational pull.
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All the pictures in this post are copyrighted Pradeep KS. Their reproduction, even in part, is forbidden without the explicit approval of the rightful owners.