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EPF 2011 Finalist

Tushikur Rahman

Fatalistic Tendency

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There is a place in which your privacy, intimacy, integrity and inviolability are guaranteed. Your own body and mind, that unique temple and a familiar territory of sense and personal history.

Anxiety and stress can cause sleep deprivation, warping space and time, ultimately leading to fatalistic tendencies.

If one wishes to commit suicide, one gradually loses his mental resilience and sense of freedom… Feeling alien and objectified – unable to communicate, relate, attach or empathize with others… Floating in dreams and eventually fleeting in the sky… The taste of suicide: the true sensation, the extreme fantasy.

I could never write a diary; thinking about the things which should be written in a personal diary was the most difficult part for me. Making this photo story was like writing a personal diary about my past, and feeling the same kind of difficulty. Thinking about those times is still hard for me.

This work has been published before in Viewbook Photostory 2010-Yearbook and WPO (World Photography Oranization) 2011, Student Focus Award.


Tushikur Rahman, born in Bangladesh in 1987 is a documentary photographer who prefers to work with social issues both urban and rural. In 2009, Tushik enrolled in Pathshala South Asian Media Academy for BA in Photography. He participated in various international workshops conducted by renowned teachers and practitioners including Stuart Freedman, Jorge Villacorta, Shannon Lee Castleman, Abir Abdullah and Munem Wasif. He is also devoted in travelling and capturing thrilling subjects including the lives of Tiger widows and a full sequence of a tiger being slaughtered by hundreds of people in Shatkhira, Bangladesh. In 2010, he finished his latest project, Fatalistic tendency, a deep subject concerned with depression that results in violence. In 2010, he received 3rd prize of Jury award in conceptual category of prestigious Viewbook Photostory, Slected as a finalist for the WPO-World Photography Organization Student focus award 2011.

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60 thoughts on “tushikur rahman – fatalistic tendency”

  1. totally scary yet totally amazing.
    i have never felt such fear/terror/anxiety before when looking at a photo, let alone an essay.
    brilliant. im a yet to read the accompanying words but i need to get my heart-rate back on track first.

  2. I’m really moved by this work, Tushikur.

    I feel the intensity in the pictures & the emotions they are evoking. The opening image I find particularly captivating — I can look at it for very a long time & just imagine….



  3. Makes me long for last year’s Crewdson wannabes.

    Suicide AND a “Full sequence” of a tiger being slaughtered? Wow. What has the next finalist photographed? Infant sacrifice?

    Maybe photographers HAVE run out of anything to photograph.

  4. ‘There is everything to love…
    as each of us struggles onwards with our own head full of ideas…
    to satisfy the element in ourselves,
    which makes our need..
    to want to look deeper and create…
    having to live the moments we create..
    evolve within..
    as we experience without..
    whatever the outcome,
    whatever we create
    there is everything to LOVE.’

    David Bowen
    BuRN magazine


    “makes me long for last year’s Crewdson wannabes”..funny line Jim..i did laugh out loud over morning coffee…

    however, just for the record, and in the name of accurate journalism which i know you support, there has only been one possible photographer out of the 45 EPF finalists over three yrs, who could have been even slightly considered a “Crewdson wannabe” in terms of style and format, and that was artist Alejandro Chaskielberg who won the EPF year before last…

    and quite the contrary Jim..it is now very obvious that photographers have NOT run out of things to photograph

  6. …………. that skipped heartbeat the lost dance of entanglement?…….there is no smell, that finality of being.

  7. I felt this was probably a more cathartic essay for the photographer than an interesting one for me as the viewer.

    Image 9 has a great cinematic feel to it. And I’m not going to say suicide is a topic that can never be photographed, nor that can never be photographed well. But, with this, I didn’t get the emotional content I needed to be swayed by it. And not just the fact that the ‘suicide scenes’ are obviously staged. It is equally obvious in theatre or in film, yet with those two mediums, when a suicide occurs, it usually comes after an attempt to make us identify with and feel compassion for the person committing suicide.

    I recently saw a theatre production of Macbeth. In the scene where Macduff’s son and wife get killed by Macbeth’s soldiers, these murders traditionally take place off stage. Int his production, the boy ‘had his neck snapped’ and the wife was ‘drowned’ onstage. The audience was shocked. I consider the tension inherent there – knowing this was planned and you’re watching actors and it isn’t real, yet feeling that it might just be real, and there is always a sense of risk that something might go wrong.

    With suicide, it isn’t normal for someone to watch someone else committing suicide. I imagine there would be a massive amount of tension in watching an act like that, even indirectly through a television screen or set of photographs. Suicide is an inherently private act.

    I didn’t get that level of tension at all with this essay. I couldn’t suspend my disbelief. I do consider that, with a subject like this, the presentation of the work really does matter in conveying the work itself in the best way. And by that I do not criticise Burn at all, just a wider observation that this work appearing in a photography competition itself breaks the suspension of disbelief that these images might be in any way real. The images themselves aren’t powerful enough to me to overcome that massive announcement that this is all make believe.

    Perhaps a stronger personal narrative would have allowed be to engage with the sequence and the subject more thoroughly. But, once again, it feels to much like it’s trying to shock for the sake of shocking for me to really care that much. With something like suicide, I want a quieter and more unsettling sense of tension.

  8. Well, that was fun :)

    While, I liked the graphics of many of the images, in particular #7 and #8, I have to agree
    with Framers Intent (can we call you Frames, for short) that, for the most part, the scenes
    came across as a little too staged and lacked a little something that delivered the emotional
    spark that would have helped the series move from staged to something a little more believable.
    As an example, the color of the blood in #2 screams fake to me and from that point onward I look at
    the subsequent images with a jaded eye.
    #7 and #8 manage to deliver something more believably ‘dark’ and, as such, work best for me.

  9. Tushikur… love pictures 1, 11 and 13.. and I guess, the look and feel of suicide is something so personal and intimate that it just is so so different for each one..

    Framers Intent.. watching it.. tension, yes.. but depending on the case also relief and liberation..

  10. eva – agreed on images 1, 11, and 13. I also like 10 a lot.

    There are some strong pictures here, no doubt. It’s just that the whole, the narrative of suicide, I feel is too underwhelming. The strong images also aren’t really the ones that point to that content. But I do wonder how much the wider presentation also matters with a topic like this – something about it popping up in a photography contest makes me then question the level of integrity – if the author recognises the privacy of this, why put it in a ‘beauty pageant’? I’m being callous with my words there, but hopefully you get what I mean. I’d feel more pulled in to the story if I’d discovered it by accident than if it was on clear show at a popular distribution point.

  11. Sara:

    “The strong images also aren’t really the ones that point to that content.”

    Are you sure?

  12. Sorry, I wasn’t unclear – I meant the strongest images aren’t the ones that most clearly point towards suicide as the narrative. Taken on their own (the strong images only), I don’t think you could read suicide as a definitive interpretation into them. But, of course, as part of a wider series, they are very important.

    I meant that the most obvious suicide images are the weakest points in this essay for me. But not simply because I don’t have feelings towards the topic – I do.

  13. What sphinx of cement and aluminum bashed open their skulls and ate up their brains and imagination?
    Ashcans and unobtainable dollars!
    Children screaming under the stairways!
    Boys sobbing in armies!
    Old men weeping in the parks!
    Moloch! Moloch!
    Nightmare of Moloch!
    Moloch the loveless!
    Mental Moloch!
    Moloch the heavy judger of men!
    Moloch the incomprehensible prison!
    Moloch the crossbone soulless jailhouse and Congress of sorrows!
    Moloch whose buildings are judgment!
    Moloch the vast stone of war!
    Moloch the stunned governments!
    Moloch whose mind is pure machinery!
    Moloch whose blood is running money!
    Moloch whose fingers are ten armies!
    Moloch whose breast is a cannibal dynamo!
    Moloch whose ear is a smoking tomb!
    Moloch whose eyes are a thousand blind windows!
    Moloch whose skyscrapers stand in the long streets like endless Jehovahs!
    Moloch whose factories dream and croak in the fog!
    Moloch whose smokestacks and antennae crown the cities!
    Moloch whose love is endless oil and stone!
    Moloch whose soul is electricity and banks!
    Moloch whose poverty is the specter of genius!
    Moloch whose fate is a cloud of sexless hydrogen!
    Moloch whose name is the Mind!
    Moloch in whom I sit lonely!
    Moloch in whom I dream Angels!

    Moloch who entered my soul early!
    Moloch in whom I am a consciousness without a body!
    Moloch who frightened me out of my natural ecstasy!
    Moloch whom I abandon!

    Ten years’ animal screams and suicides!
    New loves!
    Mad generation!
    down on the rocks of Time!
    Real holy laughter in the river!
    They saw it all!
    the wild eyes!
    the holy yells!
    They bade farewell!
    They jumped off the roof!
    to solitude!
    carrying flowers!
    Down to the river!
    into the street!

  14. I think the reason this essay does not work/succeed before my eyes is mainly a question of my outlook on life. Personally I just can’t in anyway imagine myself commiting suicide, so that doesn’t help me feel much empathy for the photographer and his essay. And before anyone jumps in and says you’ve never been that desperate – Yes I have and it has nothing to do with my stupid pathetic injury. For me suicide is a NO NO.
    I once heard a doctor by error doubt I would be alive in one hour’s time, he thought I was unconcious, I can assure any of you, one does not waste the miracle of life lightly after that.
    I once woke up at the age of 27 filthy rich, like every other day in those 27 years, my life was solved I could of died at the age 80 still filthy rich…but that night I went to bed totally and utterly broke with a wife who had no idea what had happened – yet. It was totally all my fault, everything that has ever gone wrong in my life is my fault, no such thing as bad luck. But I never ever thought of suicide not once…it’s just that I never give up, I’m sorry, suicide is something I cannot understand as a way out. I feel very sorry for the people who take the step, but I’m stumped by the whole concept… There are thousands of people/children ill, who are dying who have no choice ,who are about to leave life. I’m sorry, suicide is a selfish act.

  15. I’m afraid I’m mostly with Imants here. This does not quite work for me either.

    Perhaps some of my difficulty with this is a result of different cultural sensibilities. I can see this as a story-board for a Bollywood style movie perhaps. To my western eyes, some of the photos look very contrived. The bathtub photo is more humorous than anything, and begs a funny caption. The watery “blood” in the sink looks like beet juice or food colouring. And really, is someone really going to do themselves harm with a big knife, then balance it neatly on the side of the sink?

    Congratulations Tushikur, clearly the fact that you have appeared here means that while I may not be keen on this, you have impressed those who matter. Good luck.

  16. Paul – I’m glad you were able to deal with your own trials in a positive way, but other than that, your statement strikes me as selfish – blind, mean and without empathy. Your words angered me so much that I wrote an initial response of just three words, but then realized that was very wrong of me and so struck those three words.

    When I looked at the essay, I thought, “this photographer has imagined doing all these things to himself, but instead channeled those feelings into art that can tell the rest of us what he felt.” I found none of the images cliched, but just real situations dramatized in a form that anyone anywhere, from any culture, can grasp. I congratulate the photographer for choosing life over death, art to stand over talent obliterated, returned to dust and ash without leaving a trace to suggest it was ever here.

    He could have chosen the latter, but he chose the first.

    I did wonder to a degree what effect the images might have on a troubled person at the edge, trying to decide whether to live or die at his or her own hand. I can imagine the images encouraging the person in either direction.

    To Tushikur Rahman – thank you for admitting to these feelings, thank you for fighting against them, thank you for creating art that faces our fears of both life and death, thank you for giving us something deep and poignant to think about.

    Struggle on, through the remainder of all your natural days.

  17. Jim Powers – If you were in a Bangladeshi village of Tiger widows with your camera and the villagers killed and slaughtered a tiger, what would you do as a photographer? That would be real life unfolding in front of you. Would you turn away, and leave the scene undocumented? Would you cast judgement upon the villagers? Would you seek to try to better understand their situation, and maybe to help the world better understand as well?

  18. This work is difficult for me…. I do like and appreciate very much what the photographer is trying to do here, as an artist, and as a subject that needs to be talked about. And once again I applaud BURN for pushing the boundaries and not just going for old school Magnum style of pj photography…

    Yet, the picture of the bloody sink ruins it for me… having cleaned up my younger brother’s blood from a suicide attempt, I will tell you there’s no nicely putting the knife back on the edge of the sink. In fact no sink at all, or knife (confiscated by the police), just a big murky dried brown pool in the middle of some old carpet… not very photogenic or cinematic, just very very real.

    But again I applaud the photographer for tackling this subject, in a style that is totally foreign to me (conceptualized photography that is) and that it’s an obviously personal pursuit which is what BURN is pushing most for. I just hope that he understands why some will have problems with it.



  19. Frostfrog, I’ve had enough of photographing death (of tigers or humans). It makes no difference, just haunts your dreams. But if it there is a market for such photos, someone will shoot them, I’m sure.

  20. Bill/Frostfog…

    I’m very grateful for your sincerity and to hear your reaction to what I wrote this afternoon. I wouldn’t of even minded the three words you decided not to write; as you are, as far as I’m concerned entitled say to me whatever is necessary.What you’ve written has actually made me question my beliefs on the concept of suicide, as I do always listen to other’s thoughts, and in this case your reaction has been strong enough to stop me in my tracks… So yes I was probably been selfish and lacking empathy. It’s just that I find life so awesome, in all it’s marvels and flaws, it makes me extremely sad to find someone may decide to miss out on it.


    wouldn’t mind chatting a bit more about this but don’t want to hijack this essay so could you please send me an email…through my link above…


  22. So we hit the I know someone who did, I once wanted to, this is my version of a failed attempt, I know what it feels like responses to a situation that no longer has the same stigma attached socially but lets play the “on the edge” game anyway…………..getting closer and closer to soap opera responses

  23. “The variable here is the other terror, the fire’s flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It’s not desiring the fall; it’s terror of the flames. And yet nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling ‘Don’t!’ and ‘Hang on!’, can understand the jump. Not really. You’d have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling.”— David Foster Wallace

    “Don’t you ever do this again to me or to your family.”-my father, over the phone, 1998.

    It is with reservation that I speak about this stories, a series that seems to me on one hand intimately authentic and filled with grace and life, (the gesture to articulate that which is so painful to choke out of the throat) and yet also thin, defined too easily by some imagery that one expects and by a narrative that works too hard to replicate a story that most often fails to be wrestled to the ground with by an easy explanation.

    Just as Hamlet reminds us of the infinite space inside our heads and lives, even if but a nutshell, there are incalculable reasons and conditions and factors that drive one (over a lifetime or an instant) to end their life. Though there is no easy equation or remedy and though my own life seems to have been satellited by it’s mass and presence, one surely understands that there is nothing but gravity and accumulated loss associated with it. No good can come from it, but maybe our own recognition toward the pain and the connectedness of others, for we are more than our brother and sister’s keepers, we are their companions, though we fail one another continually.

    I want to ‘like’ this work, not for the subject, not for it’s ‘conceptual’ framework, but simply for the bravery, for the attempt by the person who has struggled with suicide, for the attempt by the person who has survived their or another’s suicide, for the attempt to harness their own language, their own diary, their own demons in an attempt to share against the dark with others what so many others feel and endure. For that act alone, i feel the work an act of grace and community and connection.

    But as a photographic narrative/essay, it also (for me) fails to convey both the depth and demons of both the act of suicide and the consequential vanquishing. Suicide vanquishes more than 1 life, but an entire family’s, an entire community’s, an entire generation (as John as so eloquently point out in Howl). There are photographs here that are both visually powerful and (for me) sufficiently ambiguous that get close to the power and rational irrationality of the act: the ache, the exhaustion, the wearying away, the corner-trap, fog=choking exhaustion. As pictures, #1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13 all work within the context of what it seems you are trying to accomplish. They hint, for me, at both the ambiguity of one’s state of mind (physically and emotionally) during that rush/seizure, but also hint toward something wider, odder, more profound and more truthful about suicide, at least as I have experienced it and that is this: the extraordinary intensity that the quotidian has upon one: colors, breath, light, blood, loss, light. It is, in a way, an entrance into a series of thoughts and associations that often both afflict and conflict, that gives rise to both hope and exhaustion. It is an indelible experience and impression that is nearly impossible to articulate to someone who has not fallen into that utter state of fire-exhaustion. Those pictures, for me, represent the real strength of the work.

    Alas, the other images mine for me images too literal (EXACTLY what charles, and others, said about the knife photo) or too ‘dramatic’ as reality. the choice of how very often comes for different reasons, depending on exhaustion, anger, mindset, availability, etc. But more importantly, as images they seem theatric, false, overly dramatic given the subject. As pictures in a narrative or project on suicide or on the thoughts/feelings/motivations that lead one to consider and enact the most irrevocable of acts, they simple fail to both convince and to register ‘truth.’ I say this because some of the other images are so powerful as markers and as expressions of a mind and life afire, that i was literally stopped cold: the first image, the golden trees, the vermillion pilot fish, the woman in the hallway, the abstraction of blood and tear and memory in 12….

    Tushikur, I want to congratulate you on being chosen a finalist in the EPF. I also want to thank you for being honest and open enough with your life and your feelings. The work, for me, isn’t about photography as therapy or exorcism, but as communication, as language, as an act of exploring that which seemed to have been a part of your life as a way to come to grips with it. I have survived 2 suicide attempts, shameful and difficult as that is to admit. I’ve also survived the deaths of 3 friends, including the partner of my best friend 8 months ago. Suicide has been at the fore of my own thoughts and discussion for these last 8 months in trying to understand and help my friend cope with the enormity of his loss. Having returned from that place that i once thought i’d never return from, I want to simply say that no matter what, the articulation and the attempt itself to share and to shed that part of your life is both an honorable and a graceful and ultimately loving one. For far far too few ever get the opportunity to do that. That I wish the essay was ‘stronger’ in it’s narrative and it’s attempts to express the inexpressible is but a question of aesthetics and nothing more important than that. That I wish you love and honor for using your life and that which you love about this life, in this case photography, as a means to express and examine and offer others an entrance into a life that is often understand, i applaud.

    What I loved about Zhe-Zhe’s (chen) essay, which tackles similar ground, so much is that her work is not bound by the edict of ‘depiction’ so much as it is about evocation, evocation as an entrance toward something that goes beyond factual representation. Beautiful as some of your photographs are, I just found the essay moving us toward the acts too often, toward the death, rather than evocation of the life that planned, or succeeded, in leaving…..

    hope that makes sense….

    again, congratulations for you success…and above all for being here to garner that….


  24. Paul – thank you. I was feeling a little badly that I had not waited for a spell before I posted, but I truly appreciate your response.

    Jim Powers – “But if it there is a market for such photos, someone will shoot them, I’m sure.” Cynicism is almost impossible to argue against, so I thank you for that viewpoint and will let it go at that.

  25. “But if it there is a market for such photos, someone will shoot them, I’m sure.”……. that’s noy cynical it is just what happens, there is a market for war photos and there is a market for cat photos and definitely a market for misery

  26. Frostfrog
    Yes, Tushikar’s Tiger widow piece on his site is very powerful as well as non-judgmental. The portraits are especially beautiful and telling. Too often documentary photographers miss letting the faces of their subjects tell the story. Tushikars subjects stare into your eyes, and tell you their story.

  27. Suicide is rarely dramatic. Or even messy. Or photographable. Scenes of suicides are always to me hollow and empty, like looking at a contact sheet and realizing that despite having shot 36 frames, you just missed the kiss. A sad business.

    To D-, Dead by Her Own Hand
    My dear, I wonder if before the end
    You ever thought about a children’s game—
    I’m sure you must have played it too—in which
    You ran along a narrow garden wall
    Pretending it to be a mountain ledge
    So steep a snowy darkness fell away
    On either side to deeps invisible;
    And when you felt your balance being lost
    You jumped because you feared to fall, and thought
    For only an instant: That was when I died.

    That was a life ago. And now you’ve gone,
    Who would no longer play the grown-ups’ game
    Where, balanced on the ledge above the dark,
    You go on running and you don’t look down,
    Nor ever jump because you fear to fall.

  28. As Paul as already stated, I do feel sorry for those who feel the only way out of their pain is suicide, but I cannot personally relate. I don’t judge those who commit suicide, other to say I too feel it is a selfish act.

    I read the artist’s statement before viewing the slideshow, and was looking forward to the photos but was immediately put off by the obviously fake blood in number 2. Number 5 did strongly resonate with me – the ghostly hands, piecing back together the family photo. It immediately made me think of an interview I once heard with a man who survived jumping off of the Golden Gate Bridge. As soon as he jumped, he regretted his actions, and after recovering, began speaking to groups against suicide.

  29. ALL

    there are three photographers and friends of mine on this forum who you all know who have showed me suicide essays they have done following a suicide in their own family…one of them was published here on Burn…one more will be…none of these three essays bear any resemblance to each other in approach and none of the essays even resemble the normal style of the photographer…

    i once had an assignment to shoot an emergency medical team in new york..picking up suicide victims was part of their job and part of mine as well at the time…as Jim says, there is no drama…empty…i remember a beautiful young woman dressed in expensive clothes lying on a bed in a top nyc hotel room ..a bottle of pills beside her and a note the only clues she was not just taking a nap…empty…and why?

    the photographers i know here on this forum who have attempted to reconcile their loss do whatever they have to do with their photographic skills…they must do something….

    i do not know, nor have ever met, the photographer Tushikur featured here now, but i can see that he is using whatever tools he has in his head to deal with whatever he has to deal with…set up “fake” pictures? i do not think there was anything fake about what was going on in his head and the demons he was dealing with were surely not “fake”…what exactly would you expect him to do if he chose this way to express his loss? you might even want to factor in a cultural milieu that would affect the way an essay of this personal nature was done by a particular photographer….Tushikur was dealing as best he could…whether or not he “succeeded” as a photographer is less important than his own catharsis..the attempt at least makes the emptiness less empty…

    cheers, david

  30. Tushikur was dealing as best he could…whether or not he “succeeded” as a photographer is less important than his own catharsis. Does that mean we should support him or may some of us, the audience dismiss his efforts without being chastised for or what some would deem as our insensitivity ?

  31. IMANTS

    of course you may dismiss his efforts…you already have… and who is being chastised for insensitivity? my point was , i thought, that who knows how do deal with suicide ? do i not get to give a simple point of view without it being considered wrist slapping? please…my feeling is that all of the comments so far have been thought provoking one way or another…no chastising intended

  32. “and who is being chastised for insensitivity?”

    I do admit I was very hard last night, but it was always on the CONCEPT of suicide, not the artist and I do agree creating art from one’s ills is the truest form of expression. My love of life does funnily enough, limit my perspective…
    I am also very grateful for Frostfrog’s comment, it really did make me open my eyes – but I wonder how many others would of reacted as well.

  33. As I said in a private email to someone last night, I probably was cold in evaluating the essay without considering what kind of place Tushikur is at now, and if the essay was cathartic then it was definitely worth doing. I should have wrote more like Bob. But when someone takes a privately cathartic piece of work and makes it public, then yeah I think it should be held up to the same scrutiny as any other work. It feels disingenuous to offer anything but a truthful opinion with a topic as serious as this. And, when it comes to a work like this, caring too much about what other people think of it is probably a dangerous road to go down. I hope Tushikur has found/is finding ways to deal with his demons, but polite comments from people on Burn or anywhere else probably aren’t going to make much difference in helping him to find the strength to live. That kind of thing has to come from within, other people can’t be relied on.

  34. But we are one very big family and a load of friends on Burn…
    There are two types of friends and family…
    Those who tell you what you want to hear and those who tell you what you need to hear…
    Bill/Frostfrog obviously told me what I needed to hear for my own good.

  35. I don’t know if “enjoy” is the right way to phrase it, but I did enjoy this set. It’s supposed to make you feel uncomfortable, and it does that quite well.

  36. David, thank you for your reply. When you wrote “Tushikur was dealing as best he could…whether or not he “succeeded” as a photographer is less important than his own catharsis..the attempt at least makes the emptiness less empty…”, it reminded me that sometimes IT IS about the journey, the process… and I can definitely appreciate that.

  37. David

    It is always my habit to read the statement before viewing the photographs. However,partially because of a you made a response to someone recently, to the effect that you judge the essays on the merit of the pictures, I decided not to read the statement before viewing. Viewed on it’s own, without the context of the statement, my reaction was that it seemed melodramatic and a bit humorous.

    I beleive absolutely in photography and art as personal therapy. It is what I practice every day as I try to underscore the beauty and joy of my life. My life through rose-coloured glasses. It’s what keeps me from descending into the dark pit. These are personal photographs, with personal references, not intended to speak to anyone but myself.

    As with Bees, I’m sure the making these photographs was a healing experience for the makers. If these essays are to be judged from that perspective, OK.

  38. Many people seem to be struggling with the concept of an essay about suicide and that is how it should be, in my opinion: it should leave us uneasy and questioning but hopefully non-judgmental. I have looked at the essay several times and have found more at each viewing. The style is not aggressive or confrontational – just the opposite – and that what gives it power. Congratulations Tushikur, hope this leads to better, brighter times.


  39. Catharsis or not, the fact still remains this essay was submitted in hopes of winning
    a cash prize and I think the comments, by and large, reflect the photographic success/failure
    of the submission with reasons stated.

  40. Pardon to insist but I would like to know if the photos were staged or not. If I know that, for example, the photo 14 was a friend or a paid model to hang and show me the demons of the author is not the same if this photo is a document of a fact, that have a story behind that maybe can be revealing in some aspects to me. Is only a request as part of the audience. Is the photographer showing me a tale or is reporting something? I’m not doing any appreciation of values, just I think is not the same.

  41. kateelizabethfowler

    Greetings and congratulations to Tusikur on this great achievement!

    I comment very seldom and have never responded with a negatively toned critique. I’m usually only moved to speak by extreme emotion.. but in this case, I feel motivated to speak by my lack of emotion. I read your Artist’s Statement before I viewed the work- as I always do, because I give equal credence to both parts of a piece of work (after all, doesn’t the ‘thinking’ come first?)

    The statement was vague, yet it compels me. Viewing your photography, I did not get a sense of that same vagueness, or discreteness.. the images seem almost childish in their reproduction of mental states and suicidal tendencies. Childishness is not necessarily a negative word to use when describing some artist’s works, but in this case.. it seemed too stated, unemotional and overworked. I’m not sure that I got the feeling of an individual experience (which I know that it was for you). What I did get was the feeling of a representation of an experience that has been depicted over and over again.

    Are these personal? What are you hiding beneath the post processing? The (what I believe is..) HDR editing is distracting. Sometimes beautiful things lie behind the darkness, but in this case the darkness is a necessary element. Let it be. I would have liked to see the images and feelings stand on their own, without the barbies, fake blood and artifice.

    Maybe I’m a traditionalist.. or I need to feel like I’m inferring something to feel intelligent. ..but I just feel like the things left unsaid speak louder than those stated clearly.

    I appreciate that this was a challenge for you, and that you’re pushing yourself to explore uncomfortable territories.

    Once again, a very sincere congratulations to you.



    i would agree….


    i was totally surprised that you were the only one who noticed a possible humor here, most particularly #3…i thought that too,but then thought, no not possible an intended dark humor…still do not know what to make of it…

  43. Tushikur, this is a subject close to my heart, having lost my father to suicide and for the past 2 years documenting the stories of those who are left behind when somebody they love ends their own life.

    Images 1, 5, 8 and 11 are beautiful to me; in them I feel the utter isolation of somebody with suicidal ideology.

    The more obvious images disturb me, primarily because imagery which glamorizes suicide can spark contagion and the thought of that saddens me. Nonetheless, it is your role to express your personal story in your way and you have certainly done that here.

    Anything that brings awareness and discussion to the issue of mental health and suicide and the stigma that surrounds them is positive and I hope the process of creating this series has been healing to you.

    Congratulations on being an EPF finalist with this work.

  44. DAmn , i cant figure out? its one of these things that looks like those things that looks like these things…i mean that alone is as successful it could be…but still though..theres something from those things that remind me these things again!
    I think its simple!
    big hug

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