Habitat Photosphere 2019

A celebration of the visual arts as a medium to garner greater engagement on issues of sustainability beyond our physical environments.

In Eastern philosophy is the integrated nature of the environment, the society, the community, and the self. In India the challenge is complex when we take into account the diversity threading through the culture, language, community, faiths, education, tastes, costumery, it is overwhelming. This translates into various socio-economic problems like marginalized communities, educational resource scarcity for the differently abled, a lacuna in cultural heritage preservation especially educating the younger generations.

“How does one address these problems through art? How does the creative community make an impact? The Habitat Photosphere an initiative with the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi invited artists using the visual language of photography and performance to put together a month long festival of exhibits which looked at sustainability – environmental, cultural, societal, and economical – interpreting it through the creative lens to increase dialogue and start conversations. Alongside the festival we ran a two year mentored fellowship which gave four fellows the chance to conceptualize, develop, and exhibit their work in a month long exhibit.”

The theme of the festival was Bhu or Earth, and included a packed schedule of activities like film screenings through the Habitat Photosphere worldwide competition, mental health talks and creative therapies workshops, exploring SDG 2030 through graphic novel workshops with children, clay workshops with children with autism and their families, exhibits capturing the realities of the LGBTQ community in India (still significantly behind in terms of acceptance) and more.

-Girinandini Singh

Project Manager

Our Fellows

MurghBazi, Syed Adnan Ahmed, for Habitat Photosphere, India Habitat Centre.

The ruthless display of MurghBazi or rooster fighting dates back to 16th century India, as a popular form of entertainment hosted by the Afghan rulers in India. In contemporary times this 'sport' is still widely prevalent having transformed into an illegal underground culture of aggression, unsavory demonstration of power and primal animality.

Human/Nature by JuhiSaklani developed for Habitat Photosphere 2019

Human/Nature by JuhiSaklani, looks at the integrated ecology of humans and the wild unrestrained energy of nature. The project was developed in the background of instances of mass tree felling for building developments, roads, river linkage systems, and smart city projects. Through her  images Saklani portrays the beautiful intersection of nature and life. 

Lost Wilderness by Thulassi Khakkat, for Habitat Photosphere 2019; an initiative of the India Habitat Centre

The dance of Theyyam in the vast landscape of lush, wild vegetation of Kerala is a spiritual experience that is a cultural tradition that is disappearing fast. A ritualistic performance it is believed that in the duration of this trance-like dance the deities from above descend to embody the dancer or the vessel, they gift their blessing upon all who participate in this experience through answered prayers and prophesies of the future.

Withering by Zishaan A. Latif developed for Habitat Photosphere 2019

Withering is an endeavour to document the 'drowning state of existence' of the river island of Majuli in Assam. It is a catastrophe caused by the aggressive Brahmaputra. The aim is to reflect on the larger consequence of climate change and displacement. A segue of this project is the documentation of a disappearing, mystical and culturally rich environment.

The History of a Built World  by John Gollings

Australian Photographer John Gollings is well known for his documentation of architecture, design, and cityscapes; the exhibit places his work in the broader perspective of architectural history and culture and the narration of their stories through a purely visual language. Exhibit built in collaboration with the Australian High Commission.

Both Sides of The Veil by Suno Labs an exhibit at the Habitat Photosphere

The immersive exhibition-oriented project comprises of photographs and multi-channel video projections of India’s LGBTQ community. Through extensive interviews, still and video portraits and scenes of daily life in contemporary India, the installation explores the jarring effects created when social progress abruptly changes course.

At its core, it addresses the question – What happens when a country takes a huge and unexpected step backwards? Aarti Singh and Jake Naughton explored an urgent question of inclusivity, what that means, and what it means to be truly seen. The exhibition addresses the unexpected ease with which we turn away from that which is different from us.

Delhi Blue Pottery at the Habitat Photosphere

Pottery in India continues to be an intrinsic part of everyday life, and by building upon this deeply ingrained artistic tradition the Delhi Blue Pottery Trust works to encourage and further the techniques, traditions, and aesthetic theory of regional potters through workshops, talks, lectures, and more.

Products by Prabhat, Society for Child Development 

Driven by a mission to create a world of equal opportunities for people with disabilities. Their programs and initiatives address the needs of children, young adults, and adults marginalised in the work force because of their disability building their capacity to sustain themselves fiscally, emotionally, and creatively.