Ekalokam Trust for Photography

EtPis an artist run foundation registered in Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu. Our area of operation spans across the tri-Sangam period Tamilakam territory that comprises of modern day Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Kerala, Karnataka, parts of Andhra Pradesh and northern Sri Lanka. EtP was founded in the year 2013 by photographer Abul Kalam Azad, art-enthusiast Kulanthaivel and management expert Tulsi Swarna Lakshmi.


Photo Archive is our initiative to preserve the life and work of contemporary photographers . Currently, the focus of archivists is mainly towards conserving pre-independence photographs. The colonial India and her history and culture presented through these photographs have an undebatable antique and cultural value, but there is a pressing need to archive the visual documents of this period, as the social history and art of independent India is of equal importance to that of colonial India.


We marked a unique insignia in the photographic realm with our maiden venture titled “Project 365 Tiruvannamalai” – a public photo-art project aimed at collectively creating photographic visuals of the fast-vanishing culture and lifestyle of South Indian society. In this year-long project twenty four photographers have created more than 3000 photographs of the ancient Tamil town. Elements and Fragments, the premiere show of Project 365 Tiruvannamalai, co-hosted Victoria Memorial Hall and Ekalokam Trust for Photography is presently ongoing at the Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata (Feb 16 – Mar 11, 2018).

The second phase of the project is presently ongoing at the tri-sangam ports, and the third phase will create visuals of the entire Cauveri River and its basin.


EtP is taking the initiative to set up a community photo lab, which will be a centre of research and experimentation for both professional and upcoming photographers. We prioritize working with the analog medium and printing techniques, and look to revive traditional photographic knowledge and research. We also look forward to combining digital and analog media in order to produce optimized and innovative results.


EtP residency program provides an unconventional studio space for photographers and photo-artists to live and work in, while at the same time offering an opportunity to observe the creative process in an open studio format in a village atmosphere. Our community centered analogue & digital photographic laboratory provides space for the young and upcoming photographers to explore and experiment with the traditional photography medium. The visiting photographers and photo-artists could either continue their own project or develop a project with the support of our creative team.

“Elements & Fragments”, the premiere show of Project 365 Tiruvannamalai, co-hosted by Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata and Ekalokam Trust for Photography showcases a curated set of images from multiple series of photographs by Abul Kalam Azad, Thierry Cardon, R R Srinivasan, Dinesh Khanna, Waswo X Waswo and Leo James, endeavours to render visible the under-represented elements of Tiruvannamalai. It does not propose a ‘fully formed’ or a ‘pre-conceived’ picture of Tiruvannamalai, but merely tries to

expose possible cross-sections of the everyday life of the town and its people. The photographic prints have been created using a wide range of techniques including cyanotype, palladium prints, silver gelatin process, and modern digital prints. The idea of the show is to present a few images of a Tiruvannamalai that is not included in the popular narrative – its ancient landscape, culture, philosophy, religious history, and ethnography – and invites questions about the inconspicuous subaltern histories of the temple town. THE SHOW IS OPEN UNTIL 11th March 2018