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Canadian Immigrant

by Vivien Fellegi

May 22 2018

Indian-born filmmaker Eisha Marjara explores identity

Indo-Canadian filmmaker Eisha Marjara’s art has been a lifeline helping her cope with trauma and carve out her destiny. Marjara was only 19 years old when her growth ground to a halt after she lost both her mother and a sister in the Air India crash of 1985. Her pre-existing anorexia worsened, she shrank to skin and bones, and was admitted to a Montreal psychiatric ward where she was at times force fed through a tube connected to her stomach. Languishing for months in her hospital bed, overwhelmed with grief, she couldn’t find a single reason to get better.

Then one day her father brought in her old camera, and Marjara began taking pictures of her fellow patients. She reconnected to a forgotten passion for photography and decided to pursue a degree in the subject at Dawson College. As a fruitful future crystallized before her, it pushed Marjara to recover.

“There was something to work toward, and it motivated me to get my weight up and leave the hospital,” she says. She never went back. “Photography gave me a reason to live.”