Capturing the five elements of earth in the sphere of pollution

A festival of photographs, films and workshops, on the theme of sustainable development, will sensitise Delhiites and make them think and discuss about pollution of environment.

art and culture Updated: Jan 04, 2017 18:12 IST
Henna Rakheja
Henna Rakheja
Hindustan Times
Habitat Photosphere,Pollution,Air
Photographs by awardees of Habitat Photosphere, on display at the exhibition Panchtattvas: The Road Ahead.

Pollution has pervaded all five elements — or panchatattvas — earth, water, fire, air and aether. To document the change in these elements over the last many years, a photo-festival, Habitat Photosphere, is being organised in the city.

“We started a year ago, when four photographers were selected by a jury of four renowned photographers, Parthiv Shah, Bandeep Singh, Prabir Purkayastha and Aditya Arya. Each was awarded Rs 2 lakh, and mentored by the jury members to work on the theme of sustainable development. In the following nine months, what these awardees captured across India will now be displayed as the exhibition Panchtattvas: The Road Ahead. We’ve designed the exhibition to sensitise people,” says Alka Pande, artist director of the festival.

“When the salt water enters the farms, the crops are destroyed and the farm land becomes barren for 2-3 years. This makes the farmers migrate in search of work and their children are left with the grandparents. So the children have to grow up without parents.”

Delhi-based Monica Tiwari has captured the lifestyle changes in children of migrant parents in the global-warming affected Sunderbans and Kerala-based KR Sunil has photo-documented the ponds of Kerala that are on the verge of extinction. “The salt water that enters the farms destroys the crops, making the land barren for two to three years. Farmers then have no choice other than to migrate in search of work, and their children are left with the grandparents, away from parents,” says Tiwari.

The other two artists are Mumbai-based Harikrishna Katragadda, who focuses on Ganga, and Pune-Holland based Shraddha Borwake, whose work explores the earth’s gravity. Alongside their works, jury members will also showcase theirs. A highlight among these is Aditya Arya’s documentation of the degradation of the Aravalli range.

A still from the animation film, Sharing Grace, by IIT Delhi students.

A film festival on the subject of sustainability will also be organised as part of Habitat Photosphere. Forty-four films, including an animation feature, Sharing Grace, by IIT Delhi students, will be screened during the festival. “This is based on a short story by Grimm brothers, on how new families are formed in the event of an earthquake. We had workshops of storytelling and story writing, in which we created cartoon characters and then shot them frame by frame,” says Nitin Donde, curator, film festival.

  • A light-based installation, Illume, by artist Ashim Ghosh
  • A video work, Deep Weather, by Swiss-artist Ursula Biemann
  • Graphic novel project, 17 Seen Unseen, at Jor Bagh Metro Station

The multi-dimensional Photosphere will also have a light-based installation, Illume, by artist Ashim Ghosh and a video work, Deep Weather, by Swiss-artist Ursula Biemann. In addition, at the Jor Bagh Metro station, authors Kavita Singh Kale and Santosh Kale will show images from their graphic novel project, 17 Seen Unseen, which is based on 17 sustainable development goals.

There will also be treasure hunts, curated walks and interactive and educative workshops, conducted by renowned photographers throughout the month of December.

Catch It Live
  • WHAT: Habitat Photosphere 2016
  • WHERE: Atrium and outdoor spaces, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road
  • ON TILL: December 31
  • TIMINGS: 11am-8pm
  • NEAREST METRO STATION: Jor Bagh on Yellow Line

First Published: Dec 04, 2016 18:13 IST