Zoé, Ramesh, Alexandra and Vanessa are diversely involved in the implementation and coordination of the various activities of the STARS collective.

Their photos below are manipulated from original studio portraits from the STARS archive.

© STARS Archive

Zoé E. HEADLEY, Social anthropologist

Zoe is the head of the S.T.A.R.S team project.

After studying Social Anthropology in SOAS (University of London), EHESS (Paris) and the SAI (Heidelberg Universität), Zoe Headley joined the CNRS (CEIAS, Paris) as a researcher in 2010.  She initiated this project in 2015 to document the social history of Tamil studio photography and family portraiture in South India. She has coordinated in EAP 314 (2010), EAP 458 (2011-2013) and EAP 689 (2014-2016).

© STARS Archive

K. Ramesh KUMAR, Photographe

Mr. K. Ramesh Kumar, Photographer at the French Institute of Pondicherry (IFP), joined the institution in 1997. He has collaborated in a number of projects conducted by the different departments of the IFP. In particular, he has been involved in projects relating to the art and history of South India, being a member of the team for the CD-ROMs Bhairava Sahasrapratimāvaliḥ (2005), Darasuram: architecture and iconography (2007), Pondicherry past and present published (2007) published by the IFP.

He has been involved in few EAP projects as co-applicant in particular, EAP 692 (2014), EAP 737 (2015), and EAP 946 (2017-2019).

Expertise in digitization   of manuscripts, photographs and negatives, Herbarium sheets, fragile books.


© STARS Archive

Alexandra De HEERING, Historian

Alexandra de Heering is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Namur, Belgium and the French Institute of Pondicherry, India. She is an historian working in the areas of Cultural and Historical Anthropology, doing research on various historical aspects in India (Tamilnadu) for almost 10 years. She has published several papers in reputed journals and books concentrating on oral history in relevance with the fieldwork in rural Tamilnadu. And visual history focusing on the Tamil photo archives. In addition she has undergone Extensive training on analog photography. Her interests include scuba diving, kalaripayatu, trekking and traveling.


© STARS Archive

Vanessa CARU, Historian

Vanessa Caru is CNRS Research Fellow in contemporary social history at French Institute of Pondicherry. She obtained her PhD in 2010 with a dissertation entitled “Working class housing and the social question, Bombay (1850-1950)”. Her research within the STARS project focuses on the emergence of the studio photographers as a professional group.