What are Fellowship Archives?
Fellowship Archives are a nonprofit collection featuring vintage and contemporary art of the Sanskrit heritage that enriches our lives and future generations. The nonprofit organization, Self Enquiry Life Fellowship, procures and digitizes vintage and contemporary photography, meditative paintings and rare Sanskrit manuscripts. The archival collection has a focus on original prints and digital images of rare meditative photos primarily from India, mostly taken during the second half of the 19th century. In addition the archival collection houses rare paintings from before the advent of photography.
Thematic portfolios feature pioneering photographers from the early days of photography who captured the nuances of the Indic architectural heritage including Vedic temples. The organization works with museums, universities and antiquarian dealers to build a meaningful repository dedicated to Sanskrit-based indigenous knowledge. The growing collection explores the philosophical roots and spiritual depth of architectural and natural wonders.
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Why Restore the Antique Photos?
The archives, when restored properly, exhibit the added dimensions of historicity by highlighting the philosophy and portraying the ethos. They become living altars of a hallowed heritage in the hallways and corridors of time. Unlike a museum collection which would prefer to showcase the antiquity, or a university collection which would be focused on researching cultural heritage and art techniques, our nonprofit platform prefers to preserve the vintage original and share the restored art to the interested public. The central idea herein is to create a coherent storyline by recreating the original mystique, honour what the photographers would have seen and connect the art with the Sanskritic lore. Thus we prefer using trained artists to bring about a mindful restoration, especially when the original is dilapidated or faded. This is our way to share prints and images that would otherwise be lost to private collectors or the ravages of time. This sharing of art ethos is intended to inspire current and future generations by way of cultural transmission.
How are the Portfolios Selected?
The Vedic monks serving the Hansavedas mission are not only meditation adepts but are erudite scholars of Sanskrit. The monks have been studying and researching geographical texts and historical manuscripts relevant to the Vedic tradition and the Sanskrit lore. Alongside proper interpretation of extant literature, the monks rely on their meditative understanding to choose or embellish a particular portfolio and hence guide the procurement process. They use a lore or a theme to identify matching imagery that helps define the importance of completing a collection. Limited edition releases to the public are preceded by months of research, remastering, re-envisioning and careful assignment in order to make the images come to life.