Connections Series: Following the Box

3:30–5:30 pm
UChicago Center in Delhi


Following the Box is an exhibit about time, an exploration of an India that has changed dramatically in some areas and stayed the same in others.  It is also about America's brief military presence in India toward the the end of World War II.  Above all, it the story of two American artists who found a box of photographs made in India in 1945 by an anonymous U.S. serviceman and their attempts to unravel a mystery.

ALAN TELLER (b. 1946) received post-graduate training in anthropology and photography at Indiana University, which led him to create the Inner-City Photo Workshop, a Chicago center for high-school dropouts.  He has received many grants for community photography projects and arts and social issues programs. Alan has published numerous articles as well as the guidebook ‘Photography in the Classroom.’ He was photographic researcher for the Field Museum of Natural History, where he also taught classes on photography and anthropology.  Teller founded Teller Madsen, a museum exhibit design company that has developed over 100 exhibits nationwide, including the permanent exhibits for the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library, ‘Vivian Maier’s Chicago’ and many others. With Jerri Zbiral, he produced the award-winning documentary ‘In the Shadow of Memory, The Legacy of Lidice.’ He was also the Executive Director of the Adlai Stevenson Center on Democracy. Teller has taught at Columbia College, Purdue University, the School of the Art Institute and Lake Forest College. He has exhibited his own photography since the 1970s.  Alan has received many grants including a 2013 Fulbright-Nehru Senior Scholar Award for ‘Following the Box,’ co-produced with Zbiral.

JERRI ZBIRAL (b. 1948) was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia. She received a Master of Fine Arts degree in photography from the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, New York. Zbiral founded and directed community photography programs for the Public Art Workshop and the Community Arts Center of the Uptown Hull House in Chicago. There, she worked as arts administrator, teacher, and director of a special photography program for the hearing impaired. With Alan Teller, she is a partner in The Collected Image, exhibiting vintage and contemporary photography and appraising photographic collections.  Zbiral has received numerous grants for her own photography and to fund community programs. She has directed and produced the award winning and internationally screened documentary films ‘Never Turning Back, The World of Peggy Lipschutz’ and with Alan Teller, ‘In the Shadow of Memory: The Legacy of Lidice.’ She is co-Director of the Fulbright-Nehru funded project ‘Following the Box’.  She and Teller are based in Evanston, Illinois.

This talk was part of the Connections Series, a collaboration with The American Center and The United States-India Educational Foundation.