Nandita Raman

It really is a fascinating thing when we observe how we use our memories. Based on our emotional status at a given moment in time, we can decide whether to hold back memories or give them out. Some memories are so precious that we can never let them go where as others we do our best to forget, expecting a new memory to come and replace the old one. Nandita Raman explores the concepts of memory and time when she visits her grandfather in Banaras and asks him to recollect his childhood home. When bringing up the question at different times, her grandfather would have a new and different approach in answering the subject. This sparked a curiousity in Raman to examine memory, objective reality and time.


Interview with Nandita Raman
Winner and Juror’s Pick (Julie Saul), 2010 Daylight/CDS Photo Awards Project Prize

Conducted by students at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University—Jesse Forman (Bellmore, New York) and Danzhou Doujie (Tibet).

We read that the inspiration for the theme of your series, Cinema Play House, came from the fact that your mother used to own a movie theater. Can you talk about the connection you have to the cinema and why it means so much to you?

My inspiration came from the fact that I had spent interesting times of my childhood in a cinema hall where I had access to spaces which are usually out of reach, as an audience. I got to witness the cinema backstage. At that age it was a thrilling experience.


 Daylight/CDS Photo Awards Exhibition 


Cinema Play House: Photographs by Nandita Raman

Winner of the Daylight/CDS Photo Awards Project Prize


Photographs by Elizabeth Moreno

Winner of the Work-in-Process Prize

Jurors' Pick Winners include Erica Allen, Rachel Barrett, Priya Kimbli, Jan Lieski, Paula McCartney, Martin Roemers, Daniel Stier, and Monika Sziladi.

September 13–December 23, 2010 at the University Gallery, Center for Documentary Studies

Reception: Thursday, September 23, 6–9 p.m.

Daylight Multimedia Podcast - Nandita Raman: Cinema Playhouse

Daylight Multimedia and the Center for Documentary Studies are proud to present the work of Nandita Raman, the winner of the first annual Daylight / CDS Photo Awards. Raman's Cinema Playhouse series focuses on the interiors of decaying theaters in India. Built between 1930 and 1960, these theaters, brimming with eccentricity, have largely been replaced by generic multiplexes. Through her quiet and beautiful images, Raman explores her childhood memories and the idiosyncrasies of the Golden Age of Bollywood.

As the winner of the Project Prize, Nandita Raman's work will be on view from September 13–December 23, 2010 at the Center for Documentary Studies in Durham, NC. Please join us for the opening reception Thursday, September 23, 6–9pm. For more check out: