Longest-running photography introduce Mumbai's emerging lensmen to its latest edition

May 09, 2018, 07:01 IST | Snigdha Hasan

Alumni of the longest-running photography event in Southeast Asia introduce Mumbai's emerging lensmen to its upcoming edition

A frame from the series, Music for Everyone. Pic/Yuyang Liu
A frame from the series, Music for Everyone. Pic/Yuyang Liu

The town of Siem Reap in Cambodia is a fascinating blend of history, modernity and culture. While the magnificent temple complex of Angkor Wat is no more than 6 km away from the picturesque location, it is also home to artisan collectives and Cambodian Cultural Village that gives a glimpse of the country's diverse cultural heritage. Since 2005, the city has also been the venue for Angkor Photo Festival & Workshops (APFW), a non-profit cultural association founded by noted names in photography from across the world - including members of Magnum Photos - to nurture Asia's photographic community by providing an affordable and self-sustainable platform for professional training.

Angkor photography
From the series, Two Eyes Good, Four Eyes Bad. Pic/Rebecca Chew

Over the years, emerging photographers from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Iran, Indonesia, Japan and Cambodia among other Asian countries have attended tuition-free professional workshops, worked on a photo story inspired by their surroundings and showcased their project at the end of the festival. The APFW alumni community is a thriving one, where collaborations and creative exchange is common. Photographers from Mumbai, too, have participated in the festival, and to introduce emerging lensmen from the city to its upcoming edition in December, APFW alumni will conduct an interactive session this Saturday. The session, being held in Mumbai for the first time, is part the Angkor Hangover series of events organised across Asia.

From the series, Bokator, on young Cambodians trying to resurrect a traditional form of martial arts. Pic/Zishaan A Latif
From the series, Bokator, on young Cambodians trying to resurrect a traditional form of martial arts. Pic/Zishaan A Latif 

"The mentors are people whose work I admire. And when a group of 30 individuals with eclectic practices and realities specific to their countries come to learn from them, they also learn from each other," says freelance photographer and filmmaker Aishwarya Arumbakkam, who participated in the festival in 2016 and is one of the organisers of the Mumbai session. Multimedia projections by photographers from the 2016 batch are also a part of the evening.

From the series, Ahp, shot in a Cambodian village. Pic/Aishwarya Arumbakkam
From the series, Ahp. Pic/Aishwarya Arumbakkam

While applications are shortlisted on the basis of merit, freelance photographer and alumna Karen Dias explains that to keep the programme accessible and inclusive, there is no upper age limit for applicants. Fellow alumnus of the 2009 batch, Zishaan Akbar Latif, recalls, "As a budding photographer, you are terrified of showing your work, but you realise that others are in the same boat, too. Being in that quaint part of the world at a workshop that's different from its uptight counterparts helps you loosen up," he shares.

APFW organising committee member Andrea Fernandes, who has been associated with the festival for five years, sums up its nature, "This event is initiated by alumni and this is the direction we want the festival to go in - where every person associated can have a space to speak about their work and collaborations."

ON: May 12, 5 pm to 7 pm
AT: Trilogy by the Eternal Library, Raghuvanshi Mills Compound, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel.
CALL: 8080590590

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