Five exhibitions to visit at Indian Photo Festival

Image above © Florence Babin-Beaudry, Portrait of Humanity Vol.4 Series Winner.

Two weeks ago, the eighth edition of the festival opened its doors. Here, we share some of our highlights from the month-long programme

In the southern city of Hyderabad, India’s ancient islamic heritage is unmissable. The iconic four-sided Charminar mosque in the Old City forms part of the city’s collective consciousness. Further out, on the southern banks of the Musi River, stands the magnificent Salar Jung Museum.  It is one of the largest museums in the world, and a venue for this year’s Indian Photo Festival (IPF).

Situated within Hyderabad’s rich history, IPF – now in its eighth edition – is the country’s longest-running photography festival. “Ultimately, it’s a celebration of photography in India. This has been our ongoing mission and we continue to build on it year after year,” said founder Aquin Mathews, who launched the festival in 2015 in response to the lack of support for India’s photographic community.

With just two weeks left until the festival closes, we round up five of the most thought-provoking exhibitions from this year’s programme.

Smita Sharma: We Cry In Silence

State Art Gallery

Smita Sharma’s vital photojournalism is an emotive and harrowing result of her seven-year investigation into the cross-border trafficking of underage girls in South Asia. In an interview with the Photography Ethics Centre, Sharma, who is an International Women’s Media Foundation fellow, says: “[The girls] shared their stories with the hope that it will prevent other innocent girls from falling into traps that they have been victims of. They don’t want anyone else to go through what they went through.”

© Smita Sharma.

Harikrishna Katragadda and Shweta Upadhyay: I will be looking at the moon, but I’ll be seeing you

State Art Gallery

A collaborative ode to the multi-faceted experiences of love, I will be looking at the moon, but I’ll be seeing you by Katragadda and Upadhyay is suffused with omens, symbols, and beguiling imagery. Photographs torn then stitched together, covered in stains, scratches, scribbles – with a dark and passionate undercurrent, each image seems to form a homemade love spell.

© Harikrishna Katragadda and Shweta Upadhyay.

Portrait of Humanity Vol.4

State Art Gallery

This year’s Portrait of Humanity is a collection of unforgettable portraits – the moments that make us who we are, laid bare. The 33 winning photographers depict astounding visual representations of joy, stoicism, hope, and bravery, illustrating ways of being from all corners of our world.

© Paz Olivares-Droguett, Portrait of Humanity Vol.4, Single Image Winner.

Debe Arlook: one, one thousand…

State Art Gallery

one, one thousand… is a “love story” and collaborative documentary between family. David, Arlook’s nephew, lives with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, a rare and incurable type of epilepsy, as well as several other health conditions. Arlook’s tender photographs and words written by Lori, David’s mother, form an intimate and careful diarisation of the realities of her sister and nephew’s way of life.

© Debe Arlook.

Women Street Photography Showcase

KBR Park

Street photography has long been a male-dominated field. The Women Street Photography collective, whose goal is to change this standard, is showcasing the work of 50 women photographers across 20 countries in a travelling exhibition curated by founder and World Press Photo award-winner Gulnara Samoilova. 

© Shikha Sood and Komal Bedi Sohal.

Indian Photo Festival runs until 19 December 2022.