March 7, 2022 | 43° | 3:49AM

My name is Aakaash Bali. At the time of writing this, I am 31 years old. Life has been strange, difficult, and not much has made sense. I’ve been trying to figure it out, by creating stories that might make more sense to me. It’s easier at night, when it’s quiet, but now I’ve seen more darkness than daylight. There’s a dense fog outside. Fitting, isn’t it?

I was born and raised in New York, to two immigrant parents from India. Life was always a battle for us. We were on our own. The world was cold. I never fit in anywhere. Still don’t. The world in my head is more alive than the world around me, so I’ve spent my life in there, still do. I feel like a ghost, sometimes.

My camera, and artwork became a bridge between what’s inside, and what’s outside for me. A way of seeing, and creating a little world for myself to get lost in. It’s been 20 years now, living through a lens. The art was always there, like a good friend. I began learning the language of light, and color. Each day, there’s a new lesson. It’s how I’ve learned to speak. I was always a quiet kid, daydreaming in the corner. Now, lighting up the night is one way I tell stories.

With time, my work became an identity, a way of forward facing the world. I spend each day trying to build it, and make it flourish, but I’m not sure what I’m building anymore. I’m observing the world, and making something of it with some of the few people I actually trust.

The lights, sounds, places, and people around us all have a story. I’m listening.

My father died in 2019. He was an artist back in the day. He couldn’t achieve what he wanted to with his work, because reality didn’t let that happen. Maybe one day, I’ll make a dent in the world big enough that my dad will see it, from wherever he is.

Writing about myself is hard. I don’t remember much.

Who’s going to read this anyway?



Full Crew

Aakaash Bali - Creative Director, Still Photographer Abriel Bello - Director of Photography
Baptiste Carrara - Colorist Christian Ladigoski - Composer
Matt Bell - Aerial DP, Tech Anita Bali - Director of Media
Aaqil Khoja, Isabel Flemming - Production Assistants

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