There’s no two ways about it — photography is an art and deserves to be celebrated as such. Helping get Hyderabad and Telangana into celebration mode are 11 photographers from the state. Among 15 photographers from the country, works of these Telangana-based photographers were displayed in exhibitions and projections at the ongoing Auckland Festival of Photography (AFP) in New Zealand. Curated from submissions at the India Photography Festival (IPF) from last year, photographers such as Bandi Rajan Babu, Veeresh Babu, Bharath Bhushan and Vishwender Reddy had their works displayed.
IPF director Aquin Mathews says that the curation covered various aspects of life in the country — the people, the culture, the landscape, and even certain socio-political issues. “We had some curious questions about the kind of work that we put up. One of the curators from Australia actually showed interest in putting some of the photos up in their permanent collection. The work on the Hyderabad rocks also were really amazing, and people were amazed to see the photos and surprised to know that such a place exists in India,” says Aquin, adding that Hyderabad and Telangana were the main focus of the collections.
Vishwender, whose Deccan Rocks series Aquin refers to, says that he’s extremely happy that his photographs are helping promote conservation efforts that he truly believes in. “They’re 2,500 million year old rocks which are like heritage for us, especially in the Deccan Plateau. We can cut the trees and they can grow back but once you’ve cut a rock, it’s gone forever,” he says.
Talking about being featured in festivals such as the AFP, “It’s not just a recognition for the photographers themselves. They promote good photography and also bring awareness that photography is actually an art form, through their exhibitions, seminars and talk shows,” he says. Veeresh Babu’s series, The Lambadas, was digitised through an initiative by the IPF. He says he was thrilled to have his work seen by international audiences. “Photo festivals helped promote my work, and it has inspired me to do much more in the future. Photography festivals are a good way for photographers to share their work and learn more by seeing others’ work. More such photo festival trends should come to each state in India to bring talented local photographers into the limelight,” says Veeresh.
Aquin adds that after the IPF’s second edition this year, photographs from this year’s Open Call will be scrutinised and many more will be added to the touring collection. It will also be displayed in Vienna next year.