Curated by Sunil Gupta, Radhika Singh, Hammad Nasar, Shahidul Alam, Kirsty Ogg and Urs Stahel
The exhibition, embedded in the culture and politics of South Asia, brought together around 400 works of over 70 acclaimed photographers from Pakistan, Bangladesh as well as India including Pushpamala N., Rashid Rana, Dayanita Singh, Raghubir Singh, Umrao Singh Sher-Gil, Rashid Talukder, Ayesha Vellani and Munem Wasif, alongside historical images from the Drik archive in Bangladesh, the White Star archive in Pakistan as well as the Anupam Poddar Collection in India among many others.
The Alkazi Collection of Photography contributed by exhibiting numerous photographs including early studio portraiture, landscapes by Lala Deen Dayal as well as vintage albums commissioned by Princely states, amongst others. The display traced the development of early photography in the Indian subcontinent providing an exploration into the pioneers of this powerful visual aesthetic.
The exhibition was structured thematically within five broad avenues of investigation – The Portrait, The Performance, The Family, The Street and The Body Politic, giving an inside view of how modern India, Pakistan and Bangladesh have been shaped through the lenses of their photographers. In this way, combining social realism, political reportage and amateur photography from the turn of the 19th century to the present, the exhibition presented a powerful history of the lens in the subcontinent.
The exhibition was also accompanied by a two-day international symposium on South-Asian photography on 12 and 13 June 2010, with the panel including Bani Abidi, Shahidul Alam, Akshaya Tankha, Dayanita Singh, Sabeena Gadihoke, Sunil Gupta, Pramod Kumar KG, Suryanandini Narain, Hammad Nasar, Aveek Sen and Akshaya Tankha.