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Lords of the Ring

It is the amalgamation of many moods - joy,sorrow,despair and triumph. Unveiling the realities behind the seemingly glamourous life in circus...

June 11, 2009 4:07:11 am

It is the amalgamation of many moods – joy,sorrow,despair and triumph. Unveiling the realities behind the seemingly glamourous life in circus,photojournalist Arul Horizon is showcasing a collection of photographs that gives a different perspective about the circus artistes. The four-day photo exhibition Off the Rings begins on Thursday at Balgandharv Rangamandir. Horizon is a principal photographer with The Indian Express.

“They might be the best of entertainers,but then once the lights are off and the show is over,they do not have a face,they do not have an identity. Other than being an irreplaceable part of entertainment of my childhood,what has always fascinated me about circus is the life that these artistes live. Travelling from one city to the other,these people do not even have a permanent address,” says Horizon.

Having worked on the project for the past four years,Horizon has captured many nuances of the lives of artistes from Rambo Circus. “While many of the photographs have been clicked in Pune,I have also traveled to Surat with the circus to take photographs,says Horizon. “Their life is a big question mark with no address,no identity,no passport and no bank account. This exhibition is my tribute to the smiles that they bring on our faces,despite the hardships they face.”

With 75 photographs,the exhibition that will get over on June 14 goes on to portray circus,as a family. “They join together and live as if they are a family because they have no other life. They celebrate festivals and anniversaries together; marriages generally take place within the unit. I remember a clown called Manohar who was ill but still made people laugh when he was out in the ring. One of the clowns was a trapeze artiste but had to don the attire of a joker because he broke his back while performing. I also had the privilege to snap a couple,who rushed to the ring immediately after getting married,” he adds.

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Horizon has trained his lens on migrant labourers now,but he hopes the artistes,who entertain us at the circus can have a better life.

(The exhibition will be inaugurated by filmmaker K Hariharan at Balgandharva Rangmandir toady at 9: 30 am)

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First published on: 11-06-2009 at 04:07:11 am

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