March 1, 2019

KOLKATA INTERNATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL – WHY YOU SHOULD BE THERE THIS WEEKEND

Words: Team Urbane

“The Kolkata International Photography Festival seeks to turn the entire city into a veritable art gallery.”

THE DOOR CLICKS OPEN TO THE ASIA’S LARGEST PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION AND THE WORLD’S FIRST HUMAN PHOTO SHOW IN THE CITY OF JOY

Few would disagree that Kolkata, the City of Joy, is a city of art lovers. It doesn’t matter whether it is painting, music or cinema and you will find this eastern city’s inhabitants equally excited. Or, as in this case, photography, for the city is playing host to the first ever Kolkata International Photography Festival. The brainchild of Madhuchhanda Sen of Maya Art Space under whose aegis the event is being organised, the Kolkata International Photography Festival seeks to turn the entire city into a veritable art gallery with exhibitions being conducted across multiple venues, including the Victoria Memorial, Indian Museum, galleries like Harrington and Kolkata Centre of Creativity (KCC), ICCR, Gaganendra Art Gallery, movie theatres like Nandan and Gem Cinema and even private homes turned art galleries like Daga Nikunj.

WORKS FROM EVERY CONTINENT AT THE KOLKATA INTERNATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL

In what is probably a first, the Kolkata International Photography Festival plays host to works from every single continent, including Antartica! The festival will showcase raw powerful storytelling with photographers from Ethiopia to Nigeria, US to Iran, Japan to South Africa, Italy to Tunisia, Germany to Pakistan forming one of the largest foreign crop of powerful storytellers to ever come into India for a single festival.

WORLD’S FIRST HUMAN SHOW AT THE KOLKATA INTERNATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL

A star attraction of the Kolkata International Photography Festival is the world’s first human photo show by world-renowned photographer Kounteya Sinha. This show seeks to offer spectator the unique opportunity to indulge their senses into a living frame. Named ‘Unremembered’ the show is his protest against invisibility; through his art he attempts to get the world to notice, to care.

“Identity or the lack of it has always bothered me. We photographers document the world with pure honesty, telling stories that are trying so hard to hide. But how many people actually care about the subjects they photograph? How many even want to find out their names, who they are, where do they come from, what is their favourite memory, why are their lives invisible, what is his or her worst nightmare, do they have people to love or are they just things no one notices?” says Sinha who is also the director of the Kolkata International Photography Festival.

He adds, “My latest show is therefore a serious protest against invisibility. Unremembered as a show will have photographs but the focus will be on human subjects. Real people I wanted to photograph will be sitting there as human subjects. Instead of showing their photographs that you would have otherwise admired for the character of their faces or the play of light, I have decided to show the real humans instead. Unremembered will tell people how to remember. The next time they photograph someone, the next time they see someone as a subject, they must remember that this is a person, not a thing.”

EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN IS ON DISPLAY AT THE KOLKATA INTERNATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL

If the number of countries and continents taking part is astounding, the variation in subjects on display is equally astonishing. From the hidden world of pandas to the modern sea bathing culture in the town of Schveningen in the Netherlands to the menacing world of global human trafficking to the trials of Bangladeshi immigrants in Italy and more, you can find immensely powerful human narratives at the Kolkata International Photography Festival. Beyond the exhibition itself people will also have the chance to meet and interact with some of the biggest names in the world of photography who will be attending the Kolkata International Photography Festival.

DATES FOR THE KOLKATA INTERNATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL

February 28 – March 6, 2019.

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