Awardees to create a body of work on the theme of sustainable development that will be exhibited in a large-scale exhibition at India Habitat Centre in December 2016
Harikrishna Katragadda, Monica Tiwari, Shraddha Borawake and K. R Sunil have been selected amongst hundreds of applicants as the four winners of the Habitat Photosphere award. The winners were announced on Saturday, March 5 at the India Habitat Centre (IHC), New Delhi. An eminent jury comprising of practising and eminent photographers – Bandeep Singh, Parthiv Shah, Aditya Arya and Prabir Purkayastha – went through a rigorous procedure of debating and discussing each application to select the final four winners. Each winner will be now awarded a monetary grant of Rs 2 lakh to create a body of work on the theme of sustainable development. The award is part of a year-long photography festival titled Habitat Photosphere initiated by IHC and curated and conceptualized by the art historian Dr Alka Pande. The works of these four awardees will be exhibited in a month-long exhibition at the India Habitat Centre in December 2016.
The award of Rs 2 lakh will cover the expenses related to travel and research undertaken by the photographer. The IHC shall bear the expense of the producing a comprehensive outdoor exhibition featuring the works of the awardees at India Habitat Centre. This will be supplemented with an equally insightful book titled ‘Panchatattava’ which will also serve as a catalogue for the exhibition. Each of the four photographers will be mentored through the next eight months by Aditya Arya, Bandeep Singh, Prabir Purkayastha and Parthiv Shah.
Says Parthiv Shah, who will be mentoring Harikrishna Katragadda: “The role of the mentor will be to channelize their thinking and energies on the broad theme of environmental damage, restoration and preservation. Beyond the award, this exposure would help in creating a long term commitment on using photography for environmental education and protection.”
Added Bandeep Singh, who will mentor Monica Tiwari: “While some applications were very technique-savvy, other scored on content. The winning applicants, of course, scored highly on all our parameters – style, execution and concept.”
Prabir Purkayastha, who will be mentoring Shraddha Borawake commented, “We were impressed by the fact that Shraddha has gone beyond the visual language of photography and works in a transmedial way using photography as a central point creating two and three dimensional works. We want to encourage new languages in photography through this festival and that is where she scored.”
On the other hand, KR Sunil will be mentored by Aditya Arya. Said Arya, “Sunil unanimously wowed the jury with his honest work tinged with an unadulterated innocence.”
PSBT representative Tulika Srivastava and Dr Alka Pande, Artistic Director, Habitat Photosphere also gave their opinions and views during the selection process.
For the exhibition slated in December 2016, Katragadda plans to travel to the cities and towns along the Ganges, with have high concentration of leather and metal industries, and the burning ghats of Benaras. He says, “I am interested in portraits of people, animals and various life forms affected by pollution. The aim is to pollute the photographic image like the landscape it represents.”
Monica Tiwari aims to document the lifestyle changes caused due to migration. “My project aims to focus on the challenging, uncertain, and heartbreaking journeys undertaken by the parents who migrate, and especially focusing on the children and the elderly who are left behind in their native lands.”
Shraddha Borawake will be working towards an installation-based project while K.R Sunil aims to document the fast-disappearing ponds in various parts of Kerala.
Habitat Photosphere awards have been supported by Future Institute, Tarun Khiwal, Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd, Aim Television, PSBT, Bank Of Maharashtra, Picsdream and Foundation of Universal Responsibility of His Holiness The Dalai Lama (FUR).