Delhi Photo Festival 2015

The theme of the third edition of the festival was:


to seek, to attain or accomplish a goal

ascend, soar, crave, pursue, strive, yearn, desire, dream, hanker, long, seek, struggle, try, want, wish, aim, endeavour, be ambitious, be eager...

Though the meaning of the word is fairly simple, and noble,it is a complicated word to use today. In an era of globalisation and interconnected worlds, ASPIRE has become the ‘buzz’ word seeking to define many of our intentions and actions, as individuals, as societies, as nations. Not all of these are noble because the flip side of aspiration is greed and excess.


The Third Edition:

This year's edition saw popular names from the world of photography with some lesser-known names as well. A total of 31 Print Exhibitions were displayed with works from photographers such as Arjen Schmitz, Daniella Zalcman, Karan Vaid, Olivier Culmann, Sandy Gutowski, Kishore Parekh and Raghu Rai. Along with that there were also a series of works, which involved multimedia projections from artists such as Abdollah Heidari, Antoine Bruy and Karthik Subramanian.

This edition saw 13 student exhibitions, by Aditi Sharma, Arjun Vijai Mathavan, Claudia Gori, Debashish Chakrabarty and 13 Talks by names such as Olivia Arthur, Ram Rahman, Vivan Sundaram; 14 Portfolio reviewers and five book launches of works by authors and photographers such as Amit Mehra, Olivia Arthur & Philipp Ebeling, Chien Chi-Chang, Sam Harris and Kanu Gandhi.

About Delhi Photo festival: 

The biennial Delhi Photo Festival, a non-profit initiative of Nazar Foundation, is a celebration of photography, organised on the lines of other important international photo festivals. For the third edition of the Festival, which will be held at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) from October 30 to November 8, 2015 the British Council is partnering with Delhi Photo festival. But while everyone is a photographer, increasingly photography users and practitioners are no longer satisfied with just recording events and journeys, but are seeking to express themselves through this art form. Photography courses and workshops for amateurs, hobbyists and professionals that teach the how to of photography proliferate. But without exposure to photography as an art, photography users and practitioners are never able to explore or realise their desire to express themselves through the medium.

Dates for the Delhi Photo festival were: 30 October - 8 November, 2015 

Book Launch:

The British Council hosted a book launch of author, curators and artists Philipp Ebeling and Olivia Arthur at the British Council in New Delhi of their books Stranger and Land Without a Past respectively. Ebeling held a talk about his work and book in Ahmedabad as well.

On 7 November, Olivia Arthur and Philip Ebeling held an interactive session in Kolkata at the Harrington Street Arts Centre (HSAC Gallery). The talk was about their practices and their publishing house – Fishbar.

Nazar Foundation

Though a few well-known Indian photographers have gained recognition abroad, and there has been a growing interest in photography from India, there has not been enough of a movement around contemporary photography within the country. Two decades ago, photography was still by and large an exclusive art in India, restricted to either the rich or professionals who earned a living from it. Camera equipment was expensive and not easy to come by because of import restrictions. Film and printing were also expensive. Digital changed all that, freeing photography from such trappings and helping in the democratisation of this art form. Meanwhile, the traditional centres of professional photography in India, photojournalism and advertising, no longer remained the torchbearers of photographic art, partly because they did not look ahead enough and partly because of the market itself. Now there are many more photo practitioners who work independently, spanning different genres of photography rather than being confined by a particular one. Without proper schools for photography, and in the absence of any real discourse, a large population of young photographers desirous of seriously committing themselves to the art, feel lost.

With the advent of dedicated photo galleries, such as PhotoInk and Tasveer we have also seen traditional galleries mount many more photography shows in the recent past. But in a country as large as India, it is not enough for photography to be seen within the confines of a few gallery spaces. Instead, it needs to be seen more and more in the public space as befits the only truly democratic art form that it is.

Prashant Panjiar and Dinesh Khanna, who have been engaging with many young photo practitioners, counselling and mentoring them, were often asked why India did not have its own photo festival. It was a result of these conversations, seeing how many photographers were beginning to want to come together, to form a community to share and learn, that Nazar Foundation was born.