Intimation: FOCUS Photography Festival Mumbai
Published on 8 March 2017
The collaborative project by Olivia Arthur and Bharat Sikka that premiered at Brighton Photo Biennial 2016, is being shown with additional work at FOCUS Photography Festival Mumbai, 9-23 March 2017.
This exhibition explores private and public representation of self-image in relation to the body, gender, sexuality and fantasy.
Working with communities in Mumbai (India) and Brighton (UK), cities with sharply contrasting politics regarding gender and sexuality, the work portrays individuals who identify themselves as part of the LGBTQ+ community, but is also an attempt to cross definition boundaries and includes people of all orientation.
While Brighton is known as the LGBTQ+ capital of UK, sexuality remains taboo in Mumbai. Homosexuality in India was in effect re-criminalised in 2013, following the reinstatement of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, originally implemented under colonial rule.
The private and public settings for these photographs allude to the lack of visibility for communities continuing to struggle against discrimination.
Olivia Arthur (b. 1980) is a London-based photographer, who has worked for many years on the East-West cultural divide. Her first book, Jeddah Diary, was about the lives of young women in Saudi Arabia. Her second book, Stranger, is a journey into Dubai seen through the eyes of the survivor of a shipwreck. Her work has been exhibited internationally and has been included in institutional collections in the UK, USA, Germany and Switzerland. She is co-founder of Fishbar, a publisher and space for photography in London. She is a member of Magnum Photos.
Bharat Sikka (b. 1973) grew up in India and now lives and works between Europe and India. He studied at the Parsons School of Design, New York. Documenting contemporary visions of India, Bharat has exhibited widely and has contributed to publications such as The New York Times, W, The New Yorker, i.D, Vogue, Vogue Homme International, Details and Time Magazine.