The ‘Tree story’ is a fairy tale of the romance between a woman and the Forest, grounded in the roots of ecofeminism. The Forest takes on a personality in relation to the Woman- Prakriti in this story, while preserving its natural rhythms in the larger natural world. Through a movement between woman and nature as distinct yet connected, it questions the popular narrative of ascribing a motherly femininity to nature, making her a giver rather than an equal participant in our ecosystem. Through this project I hope to start a new conversation which is not about ‘saving’ the every sacrificing mother nature, but to nurture and be nurtured by it.

The story is a visual journey which allows the audience to move away from the constructs of tradition, paving the way for a new relationship with nature as represented by the love between Prakriti and Forest, which is not exploitative. Linking the suffering of the feminine in woman and nature, the story disrupts the old narrative of both exploitation and selfless preservation, focussing instead on a give and take of love, nurture, and companionship.

The fictional story begins when the woman decides to depart from society, and arrives in the forest. Tired with the injustice and patriarchy surrounding her, she hopes to find an equal world in an alien, unfamiliar land. With the unfolding love between the woman, ‘Prakriti’ and the Forest, the story takes us through seasons of the forest, its minute workings and subtle life, and Prakriti’s own transformation as nature offers its lessons to her internal conflicts.

Self-portraits coupled with a fictional romance form a world where Prakriti’s social world assimilates into nature’s rhythms, its life cycle, and its love. As the story progress another dimension of the love story reveals itself, much like the seasons- the learning of a new language of unspoken love, and the healing effect of the Forest on Prakriti. Personified portraits of the trees across seasons are used along with the photographer’s own walk through these shifts in the characters’ journey.

As the lines between nature and human blur in this fairy-tale, the Forest takes on a life force beyond its usefulness as a resource. It becomes an ally, a lover, a guide, and healer. It is no longer present to be exploited or even protected, just loved by and for itself. The story ends with a symbolic death for Prakriti as she takes a rebirth as a tree to be united with her love till eternity as she sees the Forest a part of herself.

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