The Great Delhi Photo Festival…

Indian Habitat Center – Photo © Sam Harris

Self Portrait, Indian Habitat Center – © Sam Harris 2011

Firstly, a MASSIVE thank you to everyone at the Delhi Photo Festival… Organisers and the team… all the volunteers, and all the photographers… you made it happen! and what an event it was! For the first time it brought together the greatest photographers of India. All under one roof… sharing their photographic journey’s and experiences with each other and the many visitors that swarmed into the Indian Habitat Center everyday. For many it was a very emotional week.

from ‘Homework’ by Sean Lee

from ‘Homework’ by Sean Lee

apologies for the spotlight reflections on the glass… please check out Sean’s website here

Postcards from Home by Sam Harris

from ‘Postcards from Home’ by Sam Harris

from ‘A Window Inside’ by Lana Slezic

from ‘A Window Inside’ by Lana Slezic

beautiful and thought-provoking… Lana’s series on women in Afghanistan. Please take a look at Lana’s website here

from ‘Backdrop Series’ by Raghu Rai

more of Raghu Rai here

from ‘Viv(R)e La Vie!’ by Ana Galan

you can see more of Ana’s work here

from ‘Bees’ by Zhe Chen

check out Zhe’s website

from ‘At A Tent Theatre Near You’ by Amit Madheshiya

Amit’s website

from ‘Solitary Splenour’ by Zishaan Akbar Latif

again, apologies for the spotlight reflections…  wonderful personal series by Zishaan on his Grandfather, please check out his website

from the group show ‘Photographing The Street – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka curated by Devika Daulet-Singh – Dog photo by Balazas Gardi

from ‘Bideshi Photostudio’ by Kurt Hoerbst

Kurt’s website is here

from ‘I’ll Die For You: Suicide In Rural India’ by Laura El-Tantawy

from ‘I’ll Die For You: Suicide In Rural India’ by Laura El-Tantawy

for more of Laura’s work please check out her website

and there was so much more…

The festival was very well curated i think. An eclectic mix of international and Indian photographers. Each photographers work was shown uniquely, creatively and  with respect to the work. No doubt the Indian Habitat Center was the perfect location…  with it’s large open courtyards, galleries, amphitheater and conference rooms… I loved the nightly slideshows in the amphitheater. A few that have stayed with me are Sohrab Hura’s eclectic mix (with great music) the International book launch of ‘Magnum Contact Sheets‘ and Shahidul Alam’s book launch and talk ‘My Journey As A Witness’.

However… the most memorable and valuable experience of the festival for me,  has to be the daily photographers talks. Each afternoon 3 photographers… The list of speakers runs like a who’s who of Indian photography, the place was packed to the rafters and beyond and totally buzzing!!! every single day!!!

Many of the talks were fascinating and enriching as most photographers shared their life journey through photography… Each photographer’s unique personality shinned through in their work. I enjoyed so many… but a few really stayed with me, especially Prabuddha Dasgupta’s Longing, which i’d seen a different version of on Burn a while back. Beautiful work and great to hear Prabuddha talking about the process and the challenges of editing miscellaneous personal moments into a body of work. He mentioned that a writer friend of his has said ‘a string of words held together by grace’. Nice… I also enjoyed Swapan Parekh  talking about his transition from shooting documentary work into doing advertising with a documentary ascetic. Also noteworthy were the talks by Pablo Bartholemew and Dayanita Singh representing the senior class and Munem Wasif and Sohrab Hura from the young generation… all in all it was a fantastic experience and i am most honored and grateful to have been able to take part. I’m looking forward to the next Delhi Photo Festival in 2013…


11 thoughts on “The Great Delhi Photo Festival…

  1. priyanka

    the mix of talks and speakers was really interesting. and for me, the most enriching part was getting to know about everyone’s journeys, trials and tribulations, breakthrough or aa-ha moments, and in cases like urs and sohrab hura’s, the tentative, persistent self-exploration. in many cases, finding resonance between a person’s self-presenting and their images. also, the music that accompanied some images. those talks and that energy was so amazing, and the festival spirit was so wonderful to soak up, that i still haven’t managed to process half of it. so thanks for sharing ur coherent write-up 🙂 images notwithstanding flashes, links to the respective photographers’ websites. i also loved the talk by ram rahman on the history of indian photography, on a sunday morning – it was a window into things and times i did not know about. loved the ‘longing series’ and sohrab hura’s personal project a lot, they moved it at some level, munem wasif’s humour-filled and truly storytelling talk, pablo barthlomew’s story of his journey and swapan parekh’s stand-alone images, and lots more. the sitting together on the floor, up, close and personal with the screen 🙂 the green amphitheater with lots of legroom and long shadows on the stage 🙂 all of it.
    most of all, the india habitat centre was a wonderful venue, with the colours of the festival making it even livelier. also loved the pond with lotuses and the frequent bird-flights at the centre.
    definitely looking forward to the next festival, and lots of freshness and cheer and music in the meanwhile.

    1. samharrisphoto Post author


      thanks for your input. it’s always great to hear other perspectives, it adds some extra flavor! especially as you reminded me of things i’d forgotten, such as the pond with lotuses… how could i forget such a thing! but i guess like you i’m still processing the action packed week… i’m glad you appreciated the personal / self-exploration of my talk as well as others, such as Sohrab’s… i’ve found that since i’ve taken my photography to a more personal viewpoint i am much more comfortable with myself as a photographer… you have to follow your passion… be connected to your subject… love what you do… as you know from my talk it was a long and drawn out process for me… but when you’re addicted to this photography thing and it’s your way of life, there’s nothing else to do but follow the path!

      cheers, Sam

    1. samharrisphoto Post author


      thanks! we all have our stories… we all have our own path to follow… i’m grateful that i had the opportunity to share mine with so many photography lovers… and if you learned something from me that’s just great! makes it all worthwhile…

  2. samharrisphoto Post author


    over on FB you asked me about the music i used with my slideshows / presentation. as quite a few people have been asking me i thought i’d share the list here, for everyone… enjoy!

    1. The 90’s: Blur – Beetlebum
    2. Life Underground: Ian Brown – Kiss Ya Lips (No I.D.)
    3. Beth Orton / The Central Reservation Sessions: Beth Orton – Stars All Seem Weep
    4. Esquire & The Early 2000’s: Jamiroquai – Never Gonna Be Another
    5. Rama Garden, India: Bollywood Breaks – In The Garden
    6. The Routineless Routine: DJ Shadow – Dark Days
    7. Postcards from Home: The Shins – Black Wave

  3. priyanka

    thanks 🙂 i was kinda rocking in rhythm with the music while enjoying ur images. the stories made it all so worthwhile..i have audio recordings and feel wonderful listening to them whenever, wherever 🙂 about th lotuses, i nearly got split between listening to and soaking in the sessions and story-telling – and just sitting and looking at those amazing scenes 🙂 m glad m not the only one still processing stuff. i can safely stay with these precious memories till the next festival comes along. it was very emotional for me, in a way that i felt so special and privileged everyday – and what i loved most that there was every attempt to make it really democratic. such as the gentleman,a photographer – who clicked images of his father on a cellphone and those were shown at the festival, the works of the children, – and lots more.

  4. Sahil lodha

    The festival was a fantastic culmination of Images, words,anecdotes, emotions and experiences. It was indeed incredible to meet & listen to all the photographers share their vision and their stories. Was nice2meet you as well Sam & thanx for your guidance,hopefully i shall have a much better version of work to present at 2013!!!
    take care, cheers!!!

    1. samharrisphoto Post author

      Hi Sahil…

      thanks for taking the time to comment. It was nice meeting you too. keep working at it. remember, whenever you feel you’ve got something worthwhile to show, let me know, ok… cheers, Sam


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