Dr Yashaswini Chandra, author of 'The Tale of the Horse:...
Ways of Remembering: Engaging with Studio Photography & the Archive
Conceived as part of the programming around MAP’s first digital exhibition The Business of Dreams: Photographs from the Studio of Suresh Punjabi, this panel discussion explores ideas around the history of studio photography, the nature of archives, and curatorial and artistic practices of engaging with them in the South and Southeast Asian context.
This conversation brings together curator and photographer Manit Sriwanchipoom (founder of the Kathmandu Photo Gallery in Bangkok), writer and curator Alisha Sett ( co-founder of the Kashmir Photo Collective), and photographer Shan Bhattacharya (recipient of the 2016 Umrao Singh Sher-Gil Grant for Photography). Moderated by co-curator of the Suresh Punjabi exhibition, Varun Nayar, it asks broad questions about how we process, reappropriate, and curate photographic archives––and the limits, challenges, and possibilities of such engagements.
Manit Sriwanichpoom is one of Thailand’s leading photo-artists and curators. His works have been exhibited internationally including at the Chennai Photo Biennale (India, 2019), RAY Fotografieprojekte (Frankfurt, Germany, 2012), the Centre Pompidou (Paris, 2010), Venice Biennale (2003) and Photo Espana (2001) to name a few. In the past ten years he has been looking for unknown local heroes in photography. The project resulted in a travelling exhibition and book called 'Rediscovering Forgotten Thai Masters of Photography'. Manit is also a guest photo lecturer at Faculty of Communication Arts, Chulalongkorn University, and a director of Kathmandu Photo Gallery (Bangkok).
Alisha Sett is a writer, curator and educator. She is the Course Director for Aesthetics, Criticism and Theory at Jnanapravaha (Mumbai), and also part of the collectives: Kashmir Photo Collective, Guncotton and Round O Films.
Shan Bhattacharya is a self-taught artist working with photographs and video, based in Kolkata, India. In 2016, he received the inaugural Umrao Singh Sher-Gil Grant for Photography (instituted by SSAF) for his text-and-image narrative work 'Portal: The Curious Account of Achintya Bose' (2015-2018), which was published by Tulika Books in 2020. He has often collaborated with Kolkata-based independent musicians and bands to produce music videos and photographs as accompaniments to their music.
Varun Nayar is a writer, editor and researcher from Delhi with a special interest in lens-based practices in South Asia. He is the research editor at MAP Academy, Bengaluru, and a fellow at the international literary magazine 'Words Without Borders'. He received his MLitt in 'Postcolonial and World Literatures' at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, prior to which he worked in magazine journalism in the United States.