In Searching for Mustard Fields, love is defiant and radical, but always
closely under watch. Ananna Rafa’s photos explore secrecy and concealment
interlaced with romantic love in the South Asian diaspora. Rafa brings us
into the most intimate lives of her subjects, hiding their identities through
selective framing, veiling and silhouettes, coming to terms with her own
experiences with love in the process. Her photographs become a means of
examining surveillance and control within the lives of the pictured lovers,
in which to choose a romantic or matrimonial partner is traditionally seen
as taboo. The culture of Bollywood and its impact on Rafa's childhood is a
running theme in her images—its function as a media apparatus, telling
alternative stories of love, but also its myth-making abilities, as such stories
are often far from the real experience of South Asian youth.
Ananna Rafa is an artist and arts ...