New definition of nature

New definition of nature

Exploring ‘habitat’ through various photographic practices, ranging from reportage to conceptual art photography, ‘Habitat’- an exhibition by Pix: A Photography Quarterly seeks definition of ‘natural environment’ at a time when massive globalisation is at its peak.

Photographer Valentino Bellini through his series ‘Bit Rot’, Asmita Parlekar through ‘In the Human World’, Amirtharaj Stephen’s ‘Koodankulam: A Nuclear Plant in my Backyard’, Antonio Martinelli’s ‘Oriental Scenery’, Shovan Gandhi’s ‘Alang’ to name a few, try to present this definetion in their own ways.

Rasel Chowdhury’s images from the series ‘Life on Water’ are about the flood in Kurigram District, Bangladesh. The photographs have a strange quality of calm. A tubewell in the flooded area makes human efforts look foolish. But people are not fleeing the river’s rage. They do not fight the water; they inhabit it. Boys appear to be preparing to fish as they wade through waist-deep water. Women stand stoic, two men stretch out on the roof of a submerged house and a horse stands still and waits – all of it depicts life on water.

Inspired by the work of American photographer Mitch Epstein and Mark Morrisroe, Srinivas Kuruganti, photo editor Caravan Magazine presents a series of photographs on environmental pollution by factories in Ankleshwar, Patancheru and Odisha. “The project looks at Ankleshawar in Gujarat and Patancheru in Andhra Pradesh, which are among the largest industrial estates in Asia. These two regions produce much of world’s supply of generic drugs, pesticides, fertilisers and dyes. The second series covers Odisha, a state that leads the country in the production of chromite, bauxite and iron ore,” says Srinivas.

“My work documents the lives of people residing in zones of unregulated industry. At the end of the day you can only make people aware through your photographs and you have no control on how people may view the images, or what action they make take, if any,” he says.

 Even Alessandro Ciccarelli captures the images of industrialisation in his series Terra di Concordia. He narrates an Italian story of speculation, looking at the complexities of urban development and its interface with ecology.

Porto di Concordia (Concord Port) is a harbour under construction in Fiumicin, Rome. It was impounded by the magistrate due to structural deficiencies and high hydrogeological risks.
Photographer Devansh Jhaveri’s photo essay ‘Hollywood’ takes you into the lanes of Ahmedabad’s slum, originally called as Gulbai Terkra, popular as ‘Hollywood’.  Flooded with the statues of Lord Ganesha in different stages of production, these statues are the very walls, barriers and partitions of the community.   The image of Ganesha in this space, almost a stereotype of the area, is more about a metaphorical connection with time and an analytical connection with space.

Paolo Patrizi’s narrative photography on Nigerian sex workers in Rome creates ripples of sordidness. Without revealing their identity, the photographer captures the eerie makeshift atmosphere of the sex camps and clusters of condoms representing signs of changing customers. It represents a clear sense that economic and social crises are degrading the conditions of everyday life for a vast range of people in many parts of the world.

The exhibition will be on view till May 16 at Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan, Kasturba Gandhi Marg from 10 am to 6 pm.

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