Pradip Malde is a photographer and professor at the University of the South, Sewanee, TN, where he is the co-director of the Haiti Institute. Much of his work considers the experience of loss and how it serves as a catalyst for regeneration. He is currently working in rural communities in Haiti, Tanzania and Tennessee, designing models for community development through photography.
Works are held in the collections of Museum of the Art Institute, Chicago; Princeton University Museum; Victoria & Albert Museum, London, Yale University Museum and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, among others. He is a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow, for which Malde compled work and is preparing a book of photographs about female genital cutting, that “looks askance at the explicit but, with widened eyes, directly at loss and sacrifice”.
Malde was born in Arusha, Tanzania in 1957. His parents were the children of Indians who emigrated to East Africa but had to flee from the turmoil that spread through that region in the 1970s. Concerned about loss and belonging since then, he has come to think of artifacts as membranes, where what may be explicit and immutable begins to lead us into the realms of memory and meaning, and ultimately, understanding the experiences of others.
“I am concerned about the collision between our understanding and experiences of the individual versus the citizen, and how one can subsume the other. Thus, I have made work about emotional dissolution and departure, about socio-political ‘underdevelopment’, and about loss and belonging.This breadth of concerns is expressed by a variety of approaches. I believe in a well crafted expression. I generate work with equipment ranging from cell-phone to large format 11×14 cameras, and large installations to small prints in platinum and palladium. Past projects have been shown as books, exhibitions, and presented as part of community discussions about policy. I am designing and implementing methods that use photography as a tool for building community in Tanzania, Haiti and Jamaica, as well as in my residence state of Tennessee.While it may seem outdated, I cling to the radical feminist slogan of the personal being political: I believe that art-making stands to put into a shared place our most personal attitudes and most enduring concerns, and in doing so, is essentially a social practice. I am less concerned with (but can never reject) art as a self-expressive practice and more interested by the way it helps create bonds and connections.”
The Third Heaven – a hand-bound double leporello volume, now available. In the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and the Virginia Commonwealth University Book Art Collection, Richmond.
Links to other online work
Articles and news
This article by Henry Hamman for the Sewanee web site features some of the story behind my current work. September 2018
‘Extreme’, interview and Haiti portfolio, European Photography, December 2017, issue 102, Berlin
Probably the most definitive technical, historical and aesthetic study of platinum and palladium photographs is now available. I am thrilled to have been one of 46 authors who worked for three years on this. December 2017
December 8, 2017 – work and text featured in SSHoP: Studies in Photography
November 2017 – I am very honored and excited that the Scottish Society for the History of Photography (SSHoP) has invited me to give their annual Photographer’s Lectureat the Hawthornden Lecture Theatre, Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh on Thursday 2 November, 6-7:30pm.
I will also be conducting a masterclass with the finalists of the The Jill Todd Photographic Award. It is an annual award providing valuable support to emerging photographers, and I look forward to working with the award recipients.
August 2017 – Kirke Kook gave me a wonderful opportunity to talk about my early career and work, published on the SSHoP web site.
Spring 2017 – An article in the Sullivan Foundation’s Engagemagazineabout my teaching and community engagement in an academic environment. I am very grateful to the Foundation for appointing me as a 2016-17 faculty fellow, and I look forward to carrying their mission forward with upcoming classes in Grundy County, TN and in Haiti.
Also have an appearance and mention in this video about the history of platinum and palladium printing, produced by the Smithsonian National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
August 2016: Very honored to be named a 2016-17 Sullivan Fellow for my work in Grundy County and Haiti towards “social innovation and entrepreneurship. Sullivan projects encourage risk-taking, creative estimations of value and fresh approaches to community development.” The fellowship will result in a set of courses designed to use photography in social and environmental innovation.
Grateful to have my work mentioned in Christopher James, “The Book of Alternative Photography Processes”, 3rd edition, Cengage Learning, Boston. Pages 254, 350-352, 353, 364
June 27, 2015: 10 AM to 1 PM, Teaching a workshop on Photography and Community Development at The Association of Haitian Women in Boston
June 7-July 3, 2015: study at the Haitian Creole Language and Culture Summer Institute at Univ. of Massachussetts Boston
April, 2015: honored to be nominated for Prix Pictet 2015 global award in photography and sustainability (finalist shortlist will be announced in November, 2015.) *update* Did not make the shortlist, but so glad to have been nominated!
March 10-12, 2015: Visiting Artist, Hampshire College, Amherst, Massachusetts
April 10, 2015: Years ago, I was honored to have a large collection of my palladium-platinum prints purchased by the book collectors Colin Hamilton and Kulgin Duval, who then commissioned the legendary bookbinder Trevor Jones to design and bind these volumes.
This, along with many other works, were on show this past month:
THE BINDINGS OF TREVOR JONES
Published by Duval and Hamilton 2015
This copiously illustrated book in full colour features almost all the bindings which Trevor worked on over a career spanning sixty years, together with essays by the binder and an introduction by Mirjam Foot.
The book will be on sale at the exhibition TREVOR JONES : A RETROSPECTIVE at St Bride Foundation, which runs from 18th March – 10th April.
Publication price is £45 but it will be available at £35 to members of Designer Bookbinders, and £40 to non-members, during the run of the exhibition. (Thereafter, £35 plus postage to DB members).
To reserve a copy, please contact : [email protected]
October 21-24, 2014, co-presenter on a Collaborative Workshop in Photograph Conservation: platinum and palladium photographs, sponsored by The Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, in collaboration with the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, National Gallery of Art, Library of Congress, and the Smithsonian National Museum of American History
January, 2015: My work, and that from my collaboration with Mike Ware resulting in a contemporary formulation for platinum-palladium printing featured in The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes, 3rd Edition, by Christopher James. Inclusion aside, this update promises to be an even more indispensable of a reference than the 2nd edition.
September 11, 2014: A talk at Vanderbilt Medical school, “Zanmi Foto: photography
and community development in Haiti”
On September 11, 2014, 6-7pm
Light Hall, Room 214, 1301 Medical Center Dr, Nashville, TN 37232
Open to the public and sponsored by the VMS Global Health Organization
About the the talk: There is considerable evidence that photography can be used as a therapeutic and educational tool. Using photographs made by Haitian community partners and myself, this talk provides an overview of the Haitian condition, describes specific concerns and describes how photography is being used to enhance community development initiatives.
August 1-2 2014: I gave a talk and ran a discussion at The 2014 Creativity Seminar at Austen Riggs Center, Stockbridge, Massachusetts, USA. Intended for therapists, this year’s conference considered “the process of translation in different areas of creative endeavor in the visual medium of photography, through the embodied work of translation by an orchestral conductor [I was particularly thrilled to meet and work with Sara Jobin], via the interpretative work of translation by a psychoanalyst, and by means of the multilayered acts of translation in theater. Our aim is to understand more deeply the subjective and objective nature of interpretation and translation and to stimulate our use of these ideas in our various clinical, educational, and other settings.
Patients and therapists are constantly engaged in the practice of translation. Translation is a creative act involving the intersection of objective practice and subjective meaning. In the “talking cure,” desires, thoughts, fantasies, symptoms, and dreams are gradually metamorphosed (in part) into words and sentences, which render them meaningful in an intersubjective context and make them more accessible to conscious control. Similarly, we can see that composers, artists, actors, conductors, and translators of literature from one language to another engage the same way. How does translation work? What is it in a translation that gets carried over, and what gets left behind? How can we understand more about the elements that spill over outside the bounds of what is conscious and controlled and affect it?”
Jan. 2013: My colleagues, Prof. Karen Yu, Sewanee and Prof. Linda Mayes, Yale and I have received a major grant from a private foundation, for Camp Discover / The Discover Together Collaborative to provide an integrated approach to family engagement, effective teaching, and systems alignment in Grundy County, TN. Read more about this project and also about how it links with a current set of classes taught by us here.
Pradip Malde generously cited, and featured with Mike Ware in
‘Guide to Photographic Alternative Processes: Popular Historical and Contemporary Techniques‘
by Jill Enfield, Focal Press
Chapter 8: Platinum and Palladium printing, pages 131-147
Mike Ware and Pradip Malde cited in
‘The Atlas of Analytic Signatures of Photographic Processes: Platinotype’
by Dusan C. Stulik and Art Kaplan, The Getty Conservation Institute
Hand-bound volumes of the book, The Third Heaven have been acquired by the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum’s National Art Library, London and by Virginia Commonwealth University’s Special Collections and Archives at the James Branch Cabell Library, Richmond, VA.
David Chow writes an extensive article about my work on The Art of Platinum Printing blog
Tom Normand, in his book, Scottish Photography: A History, ‘examines the photograph as an object, a form of documentary, and as a memorial; and the ways in which the Scottish connection has altered or defined these forms.’ [from the cover notes] – read his discussion of my work in this book
interview in La Informacion about Haiti and my work there