Something called a family archive – A presentation by Pablo Bartholomew
It is not every day that you get to see the works of a World Press Photo award winner up close, in larger than life prints and also have the photographer explain his different photographs and the story behind them. On Friday, the evening of 21 March, in a multimedia presentation organized as part of Pondy Photo 2014, three renowned photographers, who are nationally and internationally acclaimed for their documentary photographs presented their photos of the past, present and future projects and interacted with the public and shared their world views. Among the three were Stephen Amirtharaj, Dinesh Khanna and Pablo Bartholomew.
As a high school dropout, Pablo Bartholomew had a keen interest in documenting the lives of the “marginalized”. His journey with photographs began with the end of hippie era. In his presentation titled “Something called a family archive” he had collections of pictures which portrayed his favourite places, his friends, their hang outs, the parties that they had some self portraits etc. Gradually, he moved onto documenting lives and ways of tribal communities, especially in the north east. His photo essays show the vibrancy of the Nagas, their rich cultural heritage and their unique traditions and customs juxtaposed with their modern youths in a modern setting.
Among his photo essays, he had archival photographs of early Mumbai and Kolkata, when they were more popularly known as Bombay and Calcutta. He also had photos depicting his personal life and intimate moments with his then girl friends. But the most interesting series was the one he showed at the end. It is a project he has begun to work on, called ‘Affiliations’, where he has photographs taken by him and his father Richard Bartholomew, who is also a well known photo critic and photographer, shown one after the other, about similar themes but at different settings.
His works on the tribal community of Arunachal Pradesh is exhibited at the Old Distillery from 20 – 31 March, as a part of Pondy Photo 2014.
Photos: Krishnaveni Ilanthirayan
1st M.A. Mass Communication