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City limits

The future of the city is the suburb and photographers have seen it.

art and culture Updated: Feb 12, 2011 00:36 IST
Paramita Ghosh

The future of the city is the suburb and photographers have seen it. Pix, a quarterly magazine launched this Friday by Rahaab Allana, with a four-member photo editorial team (Mridul Batra, Kaushik Ramaswamy, Akshay Mahajan and Nandita Jaishankar), asks us to look at spaces and people that lie at the periphery of our imagination.

The balloon seller under the grimy subways near Haji Ali, Mumbai; the barren plots of land all around Gurgaon's highrises and shopping centres; a heavily-painted artist bunch waiting their cue before their performance at a still-in-demand circus in the suburbs; the breathlessness of passengers and migrants inside the unreserved compartment of a train that's hurtling towards the city. Or, simply the sense of isolation at having to set up house outside the mainstream in a colony by a batch of old people — considered 'Pak citizens' — who, during Partition, lost their way home.

Works of 11 photographers fill Pix, an initiative supported by the Goethe-Institut, Max Mueller Bhawan, Delhi.

Photographer Pankaj Mistry says of his interpretation of the 'Suburbia' theme, the magazine's first offering, "I choose to see the gasping silence left behind, as a homogeneous suburbia — confident, vibrant, brash and unrelenting — gets belched out of city centres and urban hinterlands alike, across India's metros".

A striking image: Rajesh Vora's black and white diptych that makes us think of the difference in experience in the two frames. Models, waiting to walk; labourers waiting for work.