To a victory of new identities, Monisha Ajgaonkar’s muse is sharing love when it comes to her photography
We all are filled with colour-shifting spectrums, and we make a mark of this wherever we go. Our recognition and open-mindedness towards people who want to shape themselves and the society in their own way, is a win for love and humanity. An entrepreneur who wants to make a difference in the world by their art, while simultaneously portraying a positive message has to face a lot of obstacles and prejudices, especially in an unorthodox country like India. But when push comes to shove, breaking those boundaries to follow your passion becomes all the more necessary.
A free space, where being ‘Queers’ or ‘LGBTQIA+’ in a progressive country like India is limited and anomalistic, breaking down such idiosyncrasies, Monisha Ajgaonkar, a courageous woman stands at crossroads only to pave her own way. Her celebratory journey of choice, judgment, retrospection, identity and most importantly love has made her a fresh face among this humongous world of artists and creators. She has gained worldwide recognition as a prodigal photographer featured in the esteemed French LGBTQ online blog, Komitid; and has been portrayed in various articles in Grazia, Vogue, Times of India, Scoop Whoop, Gay Star UK and Femina. She is a living example of what it means to follow your dreams and passion only to emerge as an independent, strong and successful women.
The woman behind the lens describes her inspiration as, ‘Along the way, I find new subjects; some of them turn into photographs, some of them turn into friends.’
She is the mind behind various projects such as, ‘Love: No Boundaries,’ ‘Unmasked,’ ‘L: Love Matters,’ and ‘L for Love.’ Capturing human emotions through colourful and monochrome pictures, her motive while showcasing her films and projects are “To talk about the life of people from the LGBTQIA+ community and give a glimpse to the viewers about how we feel and love from the perspective of a lesbian couple.”
We all are one race, one mind, one gender, and one class. Being an activist and a young entrepreneur before India stepped up to abolish Section 377 and embrace love, the early times of her own company ‘The Photo Diary,’ founded in 2014, were drilled with potholes. Clients backed out on knowing which identity she chose to be, her way of dressing and her background disregarding her talent. But just how every grey cloud has a silver lining, her determination towards her company made her who she is today. She shares how, a lot of clients and their families, nowadays have been very supportive and give her much love. More people are coming forward to know about her life and her story.
In all our history we have fought to neutralise labels and demanded to be freed, and the best way to showcase this solidarity is during pride march. Strength, glamour, and singularity, during pride marches, are some of the favourite things about the LGBTQIA+ community that Monisha finds empowering.
Her short film, ‘Love. No. Boundaries’ speaks volumes about the reality of lesbians, their struggles, and yet the feeling of promise, hope, and happiness they fuel on. “The people’s outlook is changing, we should encourage this change through our efforts. For me, I do it through my work of art, others can do it their way. There is no competition of how to do something, as long as you are helping the community,” this is the Worldview that she wants people to have.
The artist also came forward to advice young boys and girls who are too scared to accept their sexuality, by assuring them, that it’s okay to be scared because a lot of people like her can help them find courage. Family and social pressure did not stop her from pursuing her dreams, they should not suppress you too.
After her photo series, ‘Blossom’ comes to an end this pride month, she plans to do more photo stories and short films by expanding her company to help the LGBTQIA+ community from a different home base of Canada. Gushing on her success, she wants to start a family there, and we wish her nothing but the best for all the rainbows and sunflowers that will light up her way.
Is this story inspiring? Let us know about your story too, and how you beat all odds to become who you are today.