Delhi Photo Festival (blog)
A biennial photography festival organised by the Nazar Foundation, the Delhi Photo Festival was conceived as a platform to showcase Indian photography and to foster a sense of community among its practitioners. Curated by photographers Prashant Panjiar and Dinesh Khanna, also the co-founders of the Nazar Foundation, the first two editions of the festival were held at the India Habitat Centre and the third at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA). One of the earliest large-scale photography festivals in the country, it saw widespread participation of photographers from around the country and abroad as well as photography lovers and curious visitors who could engage with the genre in various ways.
The inaugural edition of the festival was organised in collaboration with the Visual Arts Gallery of the India Habitat Centre from 15–28 October 2011. Its central theme was ‘Affinity’, which sought explorations of collective socio-cultural identities and kinships as well deeper personal ones. The edition featured works by over thirty-five Indian photographers, among whom were the veteran Raghu Rai and Mahatma Gandhi’s nephew and private(personal) photographer Kanu Gandhi, as well as thirty-nine international photographers. Besides the exhibitionary component were also talks, panel discussions, workshops and portfolio feedback sessions by renowned photographers, cultural practitioners and scholars such as Prabuddha Dasgupta, Raghu Rai, Pablo Bartholomew, Pushpamala N, Dayanita Singh, Ram Rahman, Shahidul Alam, Sohrab Hura and Sam Harris, among others.
The theme of the second edition of the festival was “Grace,” a reference to a recurring motif in one of Dasgupta’s talks during the first edition, and a tribute to the photographer who had passed away in 2012. The festival took place between 27 September to 11 October, and events included artist workshops by Munem Wasif, Sumit Dayal and Aveek Sen, as well as talks by such notable figures as Ram Rahman, Sooni Taraporevala, Vicky Roy, Sacha Goldberg, Sumit Dayal and Urs Stahel. Photography exhibitions were held at the venues of partner galleries and institutions, including the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA, Delhi), Galerie Roman Rolland at the Alliance Francaise Delhi, PHOTOINK, Art Heritage and the Japan Foundation. Selected exhibitions from the festival – Absent Husband (2012) by Chun Hua Catherine Dong, Dhanushkodi (2009–2013) by Rajiv Kumar, Phantom Lady or Kismet, A Photoromance ( (1996– 98)) by Pushpamala N, The Fourth Wall (2012) by Max Pinckers, amongst others – travelled to other events such as Art Chennai and PondyPHOTO, Puducherry in 2014.
The third iteration of the festival, which took place between 22 October and 7 November 2015, invited entries on the theme ‘Aspire.’ It featured over forty photographers from around the world, including Kishore Parekh, Raghu Rai, Karan Vaid, Sarker Protick, Vinit Gupta, Ronny Sen, Angélica Dass, Olivier Culmann, Dario Bosio and Klaus Pichler. The festival also offered a ‘Masterclass’ programme, which included a three-day workshop by photographers Olivia Arthur and Philipp Ebeling, and a keynote lecture by David Campany. Selected works from the festival were exhibited as a part of the Chennai Photo Biennale in 2016.
The fourth edition of the festival, previously scheduled for 2017, was postponed indefinitely.
Chennai Photo Biennale. 2016. “Selected Works from Delhi Photo Festival.” Chennai Photo Biennale.
Delhi Photo Festival. 2014. “On Tour.” Delhi Photo Festival , January 7, 2014. https://delhiphotofestival.wordpress.com/2014/01/07/on-tour/
Google Arts and Culture. n.d. “Delhi Photo Festival.” Accessed April 21, 2021 https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/delhi-photo-festival?hl=en
Kavita. 2015. “Delhi Photo Festival 2015.” The Daily Star, November 6, 2015. https://www.thedailystar.net/arts-entertainment/event/delhi-photo-festival-2015-167977
Khanna, Dinesh. 2011. “IHC… the Home of the Festival.” Delhi Photo Festival , August 27, 2011. https://delhiphotofestival.wordpress.com/2011/08/27/ihc-the-home-of-the-festival/
Khurana, Tushar. 2013. “Making the Frame.” The Hindu. April 1, 2013. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/making-the-frame/article4569291.ece
Midha, Mansi. 2013. “Dr. Alka Pande | On the Delhi Photo Festival.” Interview by Mansi Midha. Delhi Photo Festival , July 8, 2013. https://delhiphotofestival.wordpress.com/2013/07/08/dr-alka-pande-on-the-delhi-photo-festival/
Midha, Mansi. 2013. “Prashant Panjiar | On the Delhi Photo Festival.” Delhi Photo Festival , July 11, 2013. https://delhiphotofestival.wordpress.com/2013/07/11/prashant-panjiar-on-the-delhi-photo-festival
Puri, Nikita. 2011. “Images at Delhi photo Festival speak out.” India Today, October 21, 2011. https://www.indiatoday.in/india/north/story/images-at-delhi-photo-festival-speak-out-143887-2011-10-21
Team BP. 2013. “Delhi Photo Festival 2013: Prashant Panjiar on Delhi Photo Festival.” Better Photography, October 1, 2013. http://www.betterphotography.in/events/dpf-2013-prashant-panjiar-delhi-photo-festival/20691/