Is it possible for photography to disrupt the image of a city’s relentless march, to offer a chance to reflect without despair, other imaginaries that are equally lived and felt as part of the everyday?
Some years ago, I had the opportunity to spend a few days in Tokyo on an assignment. I work as a photojournalist. In my free time, I wandered around the city taking photographs, a little lost, a little aimless, unsure of what I was looking for. If I was looking for anything at all. I didn’t have enough time to know Tokyo in even a superficial way, never mind hoping to take pictures that would capture such a sprawling city in its entirety.
Instead, I found myself drawn, unconsciously, to people who seemed, like me, to be in some sort of liminal state, in-between people who had found a moment, in an otherwise busy day, for stillness that disrupted the norm of the purposive city-dweller. A salaryman slumped over a beer in the middle of the day, for instance. He hadn’t got to where he needed to be, he wasn’t yet subsumed in a blur of activities. He had what in megalopolises like Tokyo, and Delhi, is arguably the most precious commodity — time, blank, gloriously empty time.
Unlike Tokyo, Delhi is a city I know intimately. And while the two are vastly different, I found there a shared sense of time, or rather a state of being in spite of time. In the down at heel market in Shapur Jat what drew me was a similar sense of inalienable comfort in otherwise alienated city lives, an undeniable in-betweenness.
Afternoon drinkers, day-dreamers, wandering photographers—bound to the city at our own pace. These images cause me to wonder about an alternative imaginary of urbanity; could they encapsulate a moment, which lingers just long enough to cause one to pause and reflect?
Opening – 23rd September, 2013 at 6.30 pm.
The exhibition will remain open from 24 September – 26 October 2013.
The Japan Foundation
5A, Ring Road, Lajpat Nagar 4
Les Photaumnales 2014: Rock’n’Roll
France – The 11th edition of the Photaumnales Festival, organized by Diaphane, will be held from September 27th, 2014 to January 11th, 2015 in Picardy. Les Photaumnales 2014 suggests revisiting the history of Rock’n’Roll through …