A photobook festival on 'Women in the Himalayas'

A photobook festival on 'Women in the Himalayas'

Image courtesy Himanshu Khata

After the success of an edition dedicated to the transgender community in India, ‘The Kitab – India’s first photobook festival’ in the Almora region is working over a special exhibition dedicated to ‘Women in the Himalayas’. Women are the lifeline of the villages in the mountains and this initiative is aimed at telling their story to the world through photographs.

A photo by Himanshu Khata

The primary aim is to inspire the local communities and to showcase their lives through impactful photography in the format of a book. The photo festival is an interesting mix of powerful visual stories and photobooks that are thought-provoking and enriching, to create awareness and facilitate personal growth of women who live in the mountains across the world.

For the first time in South Asia, a three-day photobook festival is being held (September 21 and 23) and will see the works of photographers from more than 30 countries. The Kitab will present photobooks on different subjects that raise curiosity, educate, entertain and stimulate conversation amongst the local communities. This is also a way to empower women. 

Image courtesy Kochiro Kimura
Image courtesy Kochiro Kimura

Image courtesy Laura Larson

"Though women are the lifeline of the mountain villages yet they face poverty, low literacy levels and unemployment. With our Almora edition, we explored how photography can empower and inspire and be an important tool for social change amongst the women in the mountain villages as it provides much needed global exposure to the community through powerful photography books from over 30 countries. We completely believe that meaningful photography fosters empowerment through individual reflection, self-esteem and identity formation as well as a sense of community," says Manik Katyal, founder of the ‘Sandesh’ Photography festival in India.

"I am delighted to have the opportunity to share my work in the exhibition. I love knowing that my book has reached an audience in Almora and hope that it sparks a conversation about the relationship between motherhood and photography,"  says Laura Larson, a photographer from the USA. Her book 'Hidden Mother' will be exhibited at the festival. 

"The Kitab, by directly taking the work of some brilliant artists from around the world to different sections of the society, especially in rural areas, is doing a noble job in spreading the medium of art which is currently only associated to the elite in the society. It is a privilege that my photobook 'Life in Spiti' is reaching the people who can relate to the harsh mountain life of the people of Spiti, who spend their winters in below freezing temperatures," says Himanshu Khagta, a photographer from India.

"I like to think that 'The Sentinel Script' builds on traditional works of science fiction that pioneered many of the ideas behind it. But mostly I liked the fact that it can be understood either as a standalone science-fiction novel or as an evaluation of our societal values, a form of criticism of late capitalism or if you want even as a contemporary witness to our abusive behaviour towards our planet," says Georg, a photographer from Austria.

The life of people living in the mountains is different from that of those who live in the plains. When it comes to women, they have more responsibilities and hardships than men living in mountains. This photo festival will be a beacon of hope to their life and a window to their untold stories. 

Image courtesy Saskiaaukema

Image courtesy Pixyliao


Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox