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FOCUS Festival Mumbai *Third Edition* 2017
Detail from 'Berwick, England, 1991 / La Spezia, Italy', 2016, from the series 'Beloved Curve', 2015 - 2016 © Sarah Fishlock

FOCUS Festival Mumbai *Third Edition* 2017

Autobiography as Memory

Fatema Abdoolcarim » Homayra Adiba » Abhishek Anupam » Raymonde April » Jessica Auer » Pablo Bartholomew » Poulomi Basu » Anastasia Bogomolova » Anastasia Bogomolova » Mohini Chandra » Sutirtha Chatterjee » Chirodeep Chaudhuri » Serena Chopra » Jean-Michel Delage » Dharavi » Sarah Fishlock » David Gagnebin-De Bons » Ashita Majumdar Ganatra » Nandan Ghiya » Shilpa Gupta » Kristian Haggblom » Raquel Bravo Iglesias » Michael Vince Kim » Madeleine Kukic » Alex Llovet » Madan Mahatta » Rania Matar » Simon Menner » Mahtab Nafis » Jennifer Osborne » Maganbhai Patel (Masterji) » Birthe Piontek » Salma Abedin Prithi » Hanna Putz » Anja Schlamann » Ketaki Sheth » Iiu Susiraja » Sooni Taraporevala » Ekaterina Vasilyeva » Chih-Chien Wang » Alena Zhandarova » & others

Festival: 9 Mar – 23 Mar 2017

FOCUS Festival Mumbai *Third Edition* 2017
Portrait of Gordonbhai Bhakhta, c. 1950s - 1960s © Maganbhai Patel (Masterji), courtesy Photo Archive Miners and FOCUS Photography Festival, 2017

FOCUS Festival Mumbai * Third Edition *
9 – 23 MARCH, 2017

FOCUS Photography Festival Mumbai takes place every two years, in the month of March. In March 2017, this theme will explore how photographs and photographers have used the medium to construct and shape history, underpinning socio-political narratives and building geographies as well as retelling our very own personal stories. Since the birth of the medium we have used photography and its archives to revisit the past and talk about the present, to challenge what we think we remember, to deconstruct the grand pillars of history and extract new stories from the margins.

FOCUS was launched in 2013. Modelled on the democratic nature of photography, the premise of the festival revolves around making its rich history freely accessible to all. FOCUS extends out of the gallery space and onto the walls, shops and cafes of Mumbai as well into the very streets of the city. Working with a cross-section of different spaces, we aim to not only celebrate the art form through an eclectic choice of artists and new cultural collaborations, but also to reach and engage with a diverse array of visitors.

Since the inaugural edition, the FOCUS community has grown extensively and the sheer scope and range of exhibitions and workshops in 2015 paid testimony to the adventurous and collaborative ethos of the festival. For its third edition, the festival theme is Memory.

FOCUS Festival Mumbai *Third Edition* 2017
'Berwick, England, 1991 / La Spezia, Italy', 2016, from the series 'Beloved Curve', 2015 - 2016 © Sarah Fishlock

Theme – Autobiography as Memory

Autobiography and biography have been photography’s oldest friends. The earliest photographs were attempts to create memories or stories about people, places, and changing times. In a way, they were also stories of the photographers themselves, whose preferences were revealed in how they posed their sitters and their choice of lighting, time of day, and place. One could say, that photographers were using photography to insert fiction into true stories. They were complicating what is real with what is made up through their own particular points of views. This push and pull between what is displayed and what is concealed is what makes autobiography such a fascinating and complex photographic pursuit even today.

FOCUS 2017 calls on photographers of diverse backgrounds and interests to revisit this definition and explore what autobiography means today, in an age when technology has made it possible for millions to tell their stories. Is autobiography a way to tell an alternative history? Can autobiography and biography reveal the hidden? How do personal stories of people and communities tell larger stories about a major historical event? How does manipulation extract new stories from archival pictures of historical figures? Can new biographies deliver justice years after the fact? These are only some of the possibilities of autobiography as a means to document our lives, which often include the lives of others.

Whatever your choice of instrument and technology, from compact cameras, DSLRs, and Mirrorless devices, to large formats, rangefinders, your beloved camera phone, and even light sensitive surfaces that favour cameraless techniques or DIY camera obscuras that you might build and use to experiment with the future of photography, we invite you to share your take with us. A famous novelist has said: We tell ourselves stories in order to live. FOCUS 2017 asks you to consider: We make ourselves photographs in order to live better.

The best entries selected by the jury will be exhibited in Mumbai during the two-week festival.

Deadline: Monday, 12 September 2016 // 10am Indian Standard Time.

The exhibition is curated by Prajna Desai.
Click here for details on how to apply.


About the Festival:

FOCUS Photography Festival Mumbai was launched in 2013. Modelled on the democratic nature of photography, the premise of the festival revolves around making its rich history freely accessible to all. FOCUS extends out of the gallery space and onto the walls, shops and cafes of Mumbai as well into the very streets of the city. Working with a cross-section of different spaces, we aim to not only celebrate the art form through an eclectic choice of artists and new cultural collaborations, but also to reach and engage with a diverse array of visitors.

Since the inaugural edition, the FOCUS community has grown extensively and the sheer scope and range of exhibitions and workshops in 2015 paid testimony to the adventurous and collaborative ethos of the festival. For its third edition, the festival theme is Memory. In March 2017, this theme will explore how photographs and photographers have used the medium to construct and shape history, underpinning socio-political narratives and building geographies as well as retelling our very own personal stories. Since the birth of the medium we have used photography and its archives to revisit the past and talk about the present, to challenge what we think we remember, to deconstruct the grand pillars of history and extract new stories from the margins.

FOCUS Festival Mumbai
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Curator
Prajna Desai, art historian and photography specialist who lives and works in Mumbai.

FOCUS Festival Mumbai *Third Edition* 2017
Darine 7 and Dania 8, Beirut Lebanon, from the series L'enfant-femme, 2014, © Rania Matar, courtesy exhibition Photographing the Female