Last week, PIX, a quarterly photo magazine edited by Rahaab Allana, Tanvi Mishra, Philippe Calia and Nandita Jaishankar celebrated its 10th issue in New Delhi, with an exhibition titled Habitat. Supported by Max Mueller Bhavan, it showcased what the word ‘habitat’ meant to 16 photographers. From the usual suspects ‘home’ and ‘environment’ when you think ‘habitat’, the lensmen have also explored avenues that are bound to surprise. While Valentino Bellini zooms in on e-waste in India and Ghana, Asmita Parelkar looks at the absurdity of animals in modern zoos. If Alessandro Ciccarelli focuses on life around the man-made Concord Port in Fiumicino (Italy), Paolo Patrizi tries capturing the life of migrant sex workers in Rome. Then there is Deepa Kamath who contrasts her life in two farms, while Pargol E Naloo features the contemporary man as a symbol of death. Amirtharaj Stephen has a series on the conflicts around Koodankulam nuclear plant and Anshika Varma’s photographs show ‘comfort zones’ in different homes.
Expanding on the theme, Jaishankar says: “The topic had a lot of potential simply because it was specific yet not narrow in scope.” Interestingly, none of the photographers are making a comment. Instead, they prefer to make their works speak, more in the nature of narratives. As Allana says: “It needs to be a self-exploration for the audience.”
Set against backlit frames, these exhibits set you thinking of the myriad ways the human mind conceptualises a theme. Philippe puts it concisely: “The brilliance of Habitat lies in the fact that all of us notice differently and see different connotations in the same image.”
Other photographers whose work feature in this exhibition include Antonio Martinelli, Devansh Jhaveri, Karthik Subramanyam, Rasel Chowdhury, Shovan Gandhi, Srinivas Kuruganti, Thomas Vanden Driessche and Tuhin Subhra Mondal.
The exhibition may be over in Delhi, but later in the year, you could catch it in Mumbai and Kolkata.