The Tamil film industry, the second largest in South Asia, is closely identified with its larger than life heroes. Yet Tamil heroes come in many shapes and sizes, confounding the notion of the ideally masculine. Framed by a playful feminist eye, Hero! presents images of Tamil heroes: on screen, in make-up rooms, on the sets, in photo albums of fan clubs, in advertising and street art.
Hero! humorously reverses the gaze–the voyeur-hero of Tamil cinema now becomes the watched–deconstructing his distinctive aura of masculine power and self-possession. A lively text and startling images present a complex, provocative and entertaining critique of masculinity.
V. Geetha is a scholar, who grew up with Tamil films. Avinash Veeraraghavan is a photographer and graphic designer.