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MA Scholarship Project: Yask Desai



Master of Arts Photography


Domain: Identity and Culture


Project #1: Telia


Telia attempts to reanimate and re-examine the experiences of the men who migrated from undivided India and worked as hawkers or travelling salesman within rural Australia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It is a vast topic, but undertaking the MA enabled me the time, space – and importantly – the support to get the project underway”  


Teila was the word used to refer to Australia by some of the migrant’s families who were left behind in India. The MA project involved the production of a photobook that consists of archival artefacts (including documents and collected historical photographs) in combination with his own photography. For the MA assessment an exhibition was staged at the reputable Black Dot Gallery that also included a series of video-poems that help to place Yask, as an Anglo-Indian artists, within the overall narrative framework of the project.


A virtual tour of the exhibition that include the video works can be seen via this here.




Yask Desai is a Melbourne-based Australian-Indian visual artist who works with photography, video, archives and text. His work explores themes of place and collective and individual identity and often combines historical and social research to explore the cultural connections between imagery. He continues to work on multiple projects and his current work Telia, formed the basis of his Master of Arts Photography undertaken at Photography Studies College, Melbourne. 




Article on PIX journal that promotes Indian photography 

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