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Artist, Curators & Speakers

Cinematographer, Photographer & Automotive Connoisseur
Producer, Director & Editor
Photographer
Photographer & Motorcycling Enthusiast
Motorcycle Enthusiast
Film Critic & Writer

Date & Time

Fri, 5 Jul 2024 Sun, 7 Jul 2024

Location

Bangalore International Centre
7, 4th Main Road, Domlur II Stage
Bangalore, Karnataka 560071 India

Exhibition Opening: Friday, 5 July, 5:30 pm
Timings: 11:00 am – 8:00 pm
Exhibition on show until Sunday, 7 July

Walkthroughs:
Friday, 5 July | 5:45 pm
Saturday, 6 July | 5:45 pm
Sunday, 7 July | 5:45 pm

Conversations:
Celebrating Navroze Contractor | Friday, 5 July | 6:30 pm

Screenings:
Jharu Katha | Friday, 5 July | 7 pm
दुविधा | Duvidha | Sunday, 7 July | 11:30 am

Photography Strictly Prohibited | An Exhibition
An exhibition of photographs by Navroze Contractor, thoughtfully curated by Sanjiv Shah, Anuj Ambalal, and Himanshu Panchal, showcases the work of the renowned cinematographer and prolific still photographer. Contractor’s collection of photographs of Jazz musicians is now with the Smithsonian Museum. This exhibition features a selection from over 20,000 images taken over 60 years, many of which have not been previously exhibited. This retrospective reflects Navroze Contractor’s empathetic gaze and his ability to capture the perfect photographic ‘moment’. The curators will be present at the opening.

Celebrating Navroze Contractor | Auditorium | Friday, 5 July | 6:30 pm
The inauguration and walkthrough of the exhibition will be followed by the Release of the book, Photography Strictly Prohibited. Tributes by Sanjiv Shah, Arshia Sattar and Rajesh Nair will be followed by a screening of Jharu Katha (2010), a 64-minute documentary film photographed and directed by Navroze Contractor.

Jharu Katha | 64 mins | 2010 | Documentary
Drawing on extensive fieldwork in remote corners of rural Rajasthan and the by-lanes of Jodhpur city, this documentary film on the broom, directed by Navroze Contractor, engages in conversation with a wide spectrum of broom-makers. Their struggle for livelihood is intersected with different stories of the broom provided by women and ritual attendants of shrines, traders, municipal sweepers and garbage collectors. Through the counterpoint of their voices, the film covers wide ground in opening the contradictory values and belief-systems of the broom.

Steeped in the realities of caste, the broom is both a source of livelihood for millions of people and the repository of traditional knowledge. Even so, it stigmatises entire communities through its associations with pollution and untouchability. Highlighting the humiliation and robust survival of India’s most downtrodden caste groups, whose hopes are at once catalyzed and complicated by the politics of reservations, Jharu Katha works towards a larger envisioning of waste in urban India. Bleak and terrifying, this vision questions the endurance of the broom and its capacity to reinvent itself in a ceaseless process of change

Camera/ Direction: Navroze Contractor
Research/ Script: Rustom Bharucha
Editor: Monisha Baldawa
Associate Director: Madan Meena
Producer: Yugantar

दुविधा | Duvidha | 82 mins | 1973 | Hindi with English Subtitles
Based on a Rajasthani folktale retold by Vijayadan Detha, Duvidha is about a merchant’s son, whose relationship with his young bride, Lachhi is thwarted by his work and a ghost who falls in love with her, resulting in the ghost soon impersonating the husband.

At its core, Duvidha is a metaphysical exploration of love, desire, and the complexities of human relationships. The ghost’s obsession with Lachhi and his subsequent impersonation of her husband raise profound questions about identity, fidelity, and the nature of love itself. The film invites the viewer to ponder the depths of human longing and the lengths to which one might go to satisfy that longing.

Artist, Curators & Speakers

Cinematographer, Photographer & Automotive Connoisseur

From the early ’70s onwards, Indian cinematographer Navroze Contractor—who passed away last year at age 80—blazed a trail of radical image-making. Trained in fine arts, photography, and cinematography, Contractor wielded the camera as a weapon and a paintbrush, capturing both the thrills and the throes of popular uprisings in films that defined political documentary in India, and giving stunning form to the bold adventures in fiction undertaken by India’s Parallel Cinema filmmakers.

His longtime collaboration with his partner, director Deepa Dhanraj, and the feminist group they co-founded, the Yugantar Film Collective, resulted in a series of short and feature-length films—including What Has Happened to This City? (1984) and Something Like a War (1991)—that endure as extraordinary, pulsating visual documents of collective power and anti-capitalist resistance. As cinematographer for Indian independent stalwarts like Mani Kaul, Chetan Shah, Ketan Mehta, Pattabhi Rama Reddy, and Sanjiv Shah, Contractor combined technical innovation and an eye for everyday beauty to render landscapes and faces with expressionistic minimalism. Kaul’s rapturous Duvidha (1973), which won a prize at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1975 and screened in the 1976 edition of the New Directors/New Films festival, is an exemplar.

Sanjiv Shah

Producer, Director & Editor

Sanjiv Shah studied film making at the Film and Television Institute of India in Pune. His primary interest has been in the use of the film medium as a tool for communication and it’s use for social and political awareness.

He has produced, directed, and edited several documentaries on varied subjects, ranging from the impact of sustained scarcity on pastoral communities to re-visiting the route of the Salt March, which was a key event in the movement for India’s Independence.

He has also worked as independent editor of documentaries and one feature film (Mirch Masala), besides assisting on documentaries made by other film makers.

His recent film A Place to Live explores the state of housing in India.

Anuj Ambalal

Photographer

Anuj Ambalal studied finance from the Middlesex University, London, and worked briefly as an equity researcher before taking up photography. He works in diverse genres in the medium and has a number of solo and group exhibitions to his credit, in India as well as internationally.  His works have been published in various art and photography journals in India and abroad. He has authored a book titled, ‘23 Grams of Salt: Retracing Gandhi’s March to Dandi’ that has received wide critical acclamation.

Ambalal has had no formal training in photography.  He lives in Ahmedabad where he also follows his other passion, furniture design.

Himanshu Panchal

Photographer & Motorcycling Enthusiast

Himanshu, an Accountant, Photographer/printmaker, motorcycling enthusiast and enjoys engaging with technology. His fields of interest are troubleshooting, color management, digital workflow management, and post-processing techniques.

Arshia Sattar

Writer

Arshia Sattar works with myth, epic and the story traditions of the Indian sub-continent. She teaches and writes about Indian literatures both here and abroad.

Rajesh Nair

Motorcycle Enthusiast

Rajesh Nair is an audio engineer and manufacturer of high end stereo systems. An avid motorcycle enthusiast, collector and restorer of classic vintage British motorcycles, he has also contributed articles to Fast Bikes magazine. He has traversed the country on different bikes. He shared his passion for all things related to motorcycles with Navroze Contractor  accompanying him regularly on several long distance bike rides.

Srikanth Srinivasan

Film Critic & Writer

Srikanth Srinivasan is a film critic and programmer from Bangalore, India. His first book Modernism by Other Means, published by Lightcube in New Delhi in 2021, is devoted to the films of Indian filmmaker Amit Dutta. Dutta is the director of the film Nainsukh (2010), which is the subject of Srikanth’s second book, Still Lives, Moving Images, published by Museum Rietberg Zurich in 2023.