Photo - Sensitive: Locating Photography Today

9:30 am–6:00 pm
Alliance Francaise De Delhi


Bonjour India 2017-18, a biannual Indo-French cultural programme featured Flash France, a celebration of photography which was delve into the thematic, ‘Awakening’ – invoking a 200 year old practice of experimenting with the copy image. As one of the first events to mark the genesis of the photograph created by Nicéphore  Niépce in 1826, the talk invited us to re-evaluate the motives and futures of photography today – a stimulating composite of new media forms, found material and constructed surfaces. As the world has become a closely observed and visualised entity, ceaselessly surveyed, documented and illustrated – regional sensitivity was perhaps at the  core of this debate, especially when systems of circulation have reached a foreseeable pinnacle. Projecting endless possibilities for viewers and creators alike, what can we learn and anticipate of a medium in endless transition?

The seminar bringed together specialists from India, France as well as the the United States, so as to examine shifts and changes in photography – how the convergence of platforms and site-specific projects inform our points of view – thinking about situations in which images are openly received and critically debated. The discussion then probes the growing exposure of personal histories and social diversities that have led to the making of unique forms when images were put into the public domain. The gestures to location, geography and cultural specificity are aspects that the language of image-making has always addressed, bringing the world closer through an acute reading of images. However, can we readily access perceptions of identity and iconicity in the present, and assume the realities and consequences of shared images when fiction and fantasy are as integral to their generation? The four discussion-oriented panels were then geared towards an understanding not only of the craft, but the reception of images in an age of expanding visual cultures and tropes.