At Pathshala we aim to create an atmosphere for free exchange of ideas and opinions. Our entire regular Faculty at Pathshala is made up of alumni. Those who work in the fields of photography, mix media or press regularly stop by their old campus to share a cup of tea with current students, imparting knowledge and sharing experience. The relationship between Pathshala alumni and Pathshala is a deep one, resembling familial ties.
“The spirit of giving back is strong within the alumni of Pathshala; they collect and organize funding for scholarships to current students. Debates and endless arguments mark the free flow of ideas and experiences that Pathshala alumni disseminate.”
The name Pathshala comes from the ancient education system that prevailed in South Asia. It brings to mind classes held underneath a lofty tree, conjuring up learning spaces without walls, open skies and unending horizons. Pathshala not only allows students to explore the world of visual storytelling but gives them the knowledge and opportunity to question beyond the confines of discipline, and the scope to think outside the box. The conceptual absence of a classroom enables students not only to attend the same classes, but also to work together on collaborative projects together with the visiting faculty. This enhances and complements each student's learning experience on both theoretical and practical levels.
Despite the wealth of media talent that exists in the region, not to mention its potpourri of cultural heritage, there is currently still a significant dearth of infrastructure for proper training in photography, television and film. Although some very fine photographers and videographers have emerged in spite of this, they have all either settled overseas or work in overseas agencies. For this reason their work is hardly seen locally. There is little scope of involving their expertise in order to train our aspiring visual storytellers. A need for such a regional organization was acutely felt, particularly at the grass-root level.
Over the years we have seen major developments within the student bodies as well as in the institute’s infrastructure. Pathshala become a centre for excellence within the region, working to develop the highest standards of media professionalism. Highly skilled and intellectually versatile young professionals are emerging from Pathshala, who are already in a position to comprehend and challenge the stereotypical representations of majority world cultures in stories and features published in the international media. Exhibitions of students’ works have taken place in major European cities and photo festivals, with these graduates.
The students of Pathshala come from varied backgrounds and philosophies; and this is reflected in their bodies of work. The thought sharing process is organic in this institution, creating a multidisciplinary space which leverages with new energy among the students. The faculty members are dynamic, facilitating a mix of education that blends the learning and sharing processes. The group dynamics and the class interaction are different. The students we get here are diversified, of different age groups and the communication builds in a linear way. Our students are drawn from a wide range of backgrounds nationally and internationally.