Few cities are more photogenic than India’s Pink City, Jaipur, nor locations more appropriate for a travel photography festival celebrating sheer, unashamed wanderlust.
JaipurPhoto, formerly Travel Photo Jaipur, takes the form of 19 site-specific exhibitions held around four of the city’s heritage buildings; the Hawa Mahal, the Jawahar Kala Kendra (JKK), the Albert Hall Museum and, a new location this year, the City Palace. The organisers want to encourage a different viewing of photography by showing large-format prints outside and in public places, befitting the adventurous, raw spirit of the subject matter and the grandeur of the surrounding architecture.
The festival, headed by Artistic Director Lola Mac Dougall, is a collaboration between Orange Cat Productions and the Government of Rajasthan’s Department of Tourism. This year the photography critic and curator, Federica Chiocchetti of the Photocaptionist, joins as guest co-curator.
Flurina Rothenberger. From the series I LIKE TO DRES LIKE I AM COMING FROM SOMEWHERE AND HAVE A PLACE TO GO. Image courtesy the artist for JaipurPhoto
London-based Chiocchetti had never been to India, so imagined and studied Jaipur and India from a distance. Consequently, she was drawn to those photographic works that explore the concept of travel through the imaginary and unexpected. Alongside MacDougall, she brings in a number of new themes: the idea of a ‘fakecation’ through the work of Paulo Simao; Flurina Rothenberger’s travel-fashion photography; mass tourism through Reiner Riedler, and the ‘homo mobilis’, or in layman’s terms the modern day nomad, with Julien Lombardi’s work.
Other new themes this year include the last trip (Kris Vervaeke), photography as a healing tool (Mariela Sancari) and travelling in time, with Vasantha Yogananthan’s contemporary travelogue through the Subcontinent inspired by the epic tale, The Ramayana.
Priya Kambli. From the series KITCHEN GODS. Image courtesy the artist for JaipurPhoto
“One of the gems of the 2017 edition is a show that will be staged inside the Albert Hall Museum and we are excited at the prospect of inserting contemporary photography into this fascinating setting” says Lola MacDougall, “Travel photography serves as the running thread through our exhibitions. Travel and photography have enjoyed a privileged relationship since the invention of the medium and during our opening weekend, talks by Laia Abril, Naveen Kishore, Sebastian Hau, Aaron Schuman and Lars Willumeit, amongst others, will highlight how this relationship is relevant even today.”
That opening weekend (24 - 26 February) is populated by a rich series of talks, lectures and screenings at the JKK by well-known photography figures such as those mentioned by MacDougall. On Sunday 26 February, Japan's Yumi Goto and Argentina's Mariela Sancari will host a workshop on photobook making that is open to all, amateur snappers and photography professionals alike.
JaipurPhoto will also host two collateral exhibitions at the JKK; Memento Mori by Pablo Bartholomew in collaboration with Nature Morte and Everyday Baroque by Rajesh Vora in collaboration with PHOTOINK.
JaipurPhoto runs from 24 February to 5 March. For more information see Jaipurphoto.in