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Capturing tribal beats

art-and-culture Updated: Apr 23, 2013 01:59 IST
Chetna Dua
Chetna Dua
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Most of the city dwellers are intrigued yet detached with the tribal culture that exists in the interiors of the country. An ongoing photography exhibition titled, Tribal Lights, aims to bring the city folks closer to the culture, art and lifestyle of tribes from Orissa. “It is very important for the city folks to be in touch with these fast vanishing tribal arts. I was fascinated to see that these tribes are much more advanced than the city folks in many ways and an interaction between the two would actually help,” says French photographer Magali Couffon De Trevors, on her decision to host the show in the Capital.

Magali, who’s been residing in India for the last 18 years, visited Orissa with a friend for a week and came back impressed. “Most tribes have a matriarchal culture. The men pay dowry while it’s the women who take important decisions,” she explains, adding, “Their dresses, jewellery and expressions, were all so captivating.” A total of 40 photographs are being showcased at the exhibition.

From shooting under a tree with high contrasts to capturing the festivities at night without using flash, Magali has used various techniques to play with light. “Light is to photography what a brush is to painting. You can use it smartly to create different effects,” she says. A captivating series from the exhibition is the Black series that Magali shot during a three-day festival, where tribes from different villages came together to make merry. “I love playing with black. It is challenging to capture the atmosphere and profile of people without giving away too much about them. These tribes are very reclusive and I was lucky that they allowed me to be a part of the festival,” says Magali.

Talking about experimenting with mediums, she says, “While paper is classic, canvas gives a painting a live effect, while a photo on aluminium looks different from every angle as it reflects light.”

Catch it here
What: Tribal Lights — Photography exhibition
On till: May 11
Time: 11am to 7pm
Where: Alliance Francaise De Delhi, 72, Lodhi Estate
Nearest Metro Station: Jor Bagh on the Yellow Line