Call for Submissions : BLOWup Angkor 2013



For the last couple of years, we've (along with my friend Lenskap) been playing with the idea of interesting public of photography in the streets of various cities. BLOWup Angkor now in it's 4th year is our flagship, where we descend on this Cambodian town with pictures from all over the world, all to pay homepage to our favorite photo-festival. We are calling for submissions for exhibitions and projections through an open call and thought you guys might be interesting in sending us something :)

"BLOWup Angkor is an outdoor photographic exhibition which runs along side the 9th Angkor Photo Festival on the streets of Siem Reap Cambodia. Spread over the city the exhibitions explores the intersection between the street and photography. This one will be like no other, and we hope for no shortage of things to do and see— we’re talking 35 exhibitions and street installations, 10 talks and projections, and 1 nighttime show and tell .

Our projections & exhibitions are selected from a call for submissions; we want to ask you our community of photographers across the globe to share their work with the people of Cambodia.

Send your submissions in at theblindboys@gmail.com
Last Date for Submissions : 12th November"

 [Look here more information on the festivities]

Diary from Murshidabad

October 2010, Murshidabad District, Bengal, India

Fields of Kash
-Fields of Kash;

No particular intention had brought me a Murshidabad District in Bengal, I might search my excuses and I can fabricate several. Making some pictures for a friends mother's NGO perhaps, a made-up magazine assignment etc. The simple matter is that I had decided one morning to leave and gets on a plane and then a car and reach there that very night. I had it in mind to travel around for two weeks and then go back.

 What was I looking for. I don't know myself. Looking back at myself through time, I have partly become a stranger to myself, feeling things utterly lost to me now. And yet I can explain him better than my present self, I was buried under my skin. My life was unfocused and directionless, I still had not made a home for myself after several half hearted efforts. All my belongings then were divided between an un-used flat in Bangalore and I spent months wandering around from one spare room in my parents house to another, mostly in Delhi. It had begun to feel as if I had never lived in any other way, nor will I ever settle down. It seemed that I couldn't seem to connect properly with the world. I felt this not as a failure of the world but as a massive failing in myself, I would have liked to change it but I didn't know how. In my clearest moments I had thought that I had lost the ability to love, people or places or things, most of all the person and place and thing that I was. Without love nothing has value, nothing can be made to matter very much. It wasn't a good place to be if you're a observer of the world, a photographer if you must insult me.

The Bhopal Legacy



At around midnight on Dec. 3, 1984, a Union Carbide plant manufacturing the pesticide Sevin suffered a terrible malfunction, accidentally releasing poisonous gas into the air over Bhopal, India. Thousands of people died that night and in the days, weeks and months that followed. Since then, very little of the toxic residue around the plant has been cleaned up, while the local population suffers from a high rate of birth defects, cancer and other maladies that activists say are tied to the pollution.



The Legacy of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy - 1

First : In 1989 Union Carbide agreed to pay $470 million to settle its liability in the accident. Five years later, the company sold its controlling interest in the site to its Indian partners. In 2001 Union Carbide itself was acquired by Dow Chemical. Today, the site, including its control room, above, are under the stewardship of the Madhya Pradesh government.
 Second :Saira, 16 years,this body is underdeveloped because of severe cerebral palsy and multiple muscle dysfunction that appeared shortly after his birth. They continue in JP Nagar a colony on the South Wall of the former UC factory.]

The Legacy of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy - 3 [

[First : On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the disaster, the Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation Ministry, which is currently responsible for the plant and its grounds, has declared that the facility shall be opened to the public for a week — in order, says a spokesman, "to get rid of the apprehension and misconception that the chemical wastes lying in the factory are still harmful and are polluting the groundwater of nearby localities."
 Second :Among the many organizations that have sprung up to help the victims of the disaster is the Chingari Trust, which offers assistance, education, physiotherapy and advice to children whose parents lived through the disaster or who have become ill from consuming contaminated water.]


The Legacy of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy - 2

[ First : Union Carbide 2012.
 Second : Many of the families living near the disaster site are poor, urban slum dwellers unable to afford the cost of relocating. In a city where safe drinking water is already a scarcity, they are forced to drink the affected water lying underneath their homes.]

  The Legacy of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy - 4

[ First    : Union Carbide 2012.
 Second : Sachin, 18,centre after getting out while playing street cricket. He is paralyzed from waist down from birth,in Oriya Basti, one of contaminated slums.]

  The Legacy of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy - 5
Originally commissioned and published in Yard Magazine, France.

Kubuswoningen, Rotterdam


Kubuswoningen, Rotterdam


Just some stuff I've been looking at - the Kubuswoningen in Rotterdam - designed by architect Piet Blom and based on the concept of "living as an urban roof": high density housing with sufficient space on the ground level. Especially good if you're looking for a travel agent for a trip to Cape Verde.


Kubuswoningen, Rotterdam

Amsterdam Itinerary - Hortus Botanicus & Natura Artis Magistra

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There is something magical about being allowed into a secret garden. This is particularly true in a city like Amsterdam where, although it is said that residents rarely draw their curtains, the impassive fa├žades of the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century canal-side houses give little hint of what is concealed behind. I guess I found one - except for this one cost 6 euro 50.

Jaguar Enclosure
[Jaguar Enclosure]

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[The Tropical Enclosure, Hortus Botanicus]

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A study of Urban Landscapes in Amsterdam.

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A exploration of contempory dutch landscapes in and around Amsterdam. I'm trying to present photographs of spaces redeveloped in the old docklands - built in the last few years (away from the old merchants’ villas, the Jordaan’s charming lanes or the lush Vondelpark ) . These suburbs have all experienced, at their own scale, a significant expansion - as a push toward building new housing. A small exercise and walking around looking at these new age topographical landmarks.


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Women with cycle behind the Nemo

Kid on IamAmsterdam Sculpture, outside Station Sloterdijk

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Blijburg Aan Zee, Amsterdam

Erik Kessel's Album Beauty at the FOAM Amsterdam


Display of Erik Kessel's Album Beauty @ Foam Amsterdam
[Erik Kessel's Album Beauty at FOAM Gallery]


Erik Kessels a collector of nostalgic found photography and in his spare time run an advertising agency (or the other way around). One of his previous exhibitions at the FOAM Gallery in Amsterdam- Mr Kessel printed out what is supposedly a million pictures (allegedly every photo uploaded onto flickr on 1 day) and dumped them in Amsterdam’s Foam Gallery.



[One Day’s Worth of Flickr Uploads]


Such is Erik’s mode for presentation is again unorthodox - but jubilantly fun once again pushing the curated experience of a photographic exhibition. As a show, you're in Alice of Wonderland exaggerated scalee and interactive elements as viewers are invited to walk about this “visual anthropology” of intimate and ambiguous family photos that Kessel’s has collected.

It is an “ode to the vanishing era of the photo album” today we mostly see photographs increasingly as snapshots in exclusively digital spaces. Viewing them as huge wallpaper-like surfaces, the blemishes and scars of their physicality are also enlarged, hinting at the impermanence of the medium but also the personality of such things. And, as portraits and group shots reach human scale, it’s easy to imagine the viewer as part of the sequence of photos.
You don't see so many interesting in the far flung outposts such as Delhi - so it was quiet a breath of fresh air.   There were even quiet a few Indian photo albums on display from 60s and 70s.
"Joanna was born in breach candy hospital today. She looked beautiful" - someone had scribbled text to the picture.
Album Beauty will be on show until October 14.






On the Road in Rajasthan

On the road in Rajasthan.




"Singh struck out in his own direction by using color photography, disparaged at the time, rather than black and white. More than a dozen books followed, each focused on different parts of urban and rural India; the images in this show are drawn from them. The documentary-style vision that emerges is neither sugarcoated, nor abject, nor controllingly omniscient."  
                       - Holland Cotter, "Raghubir Singh: Retrospective", New York Times, 26 November 2004.


It's hard to have an impersonal view on photographing India. Many of my western counterparts seem to travel around the country looking for a peculiar Indian abjection - sometimes even a 'beauty as seen in abjection'. I find it a fundamentally western concept. I'm with Raghubhir Singh on this one - beauty as seen in abjection - which suited neither him nor India, hence he created his own Indian style and aesthetic - "a documentary-style which was neither sugarcoated nor abject, nor controllingly omniscient."

On recent trip to Rajasthan, I tried and failed perhaps to channel Raghubhir. The Tata Indica fails as an camera obscura when compared to the ambassador.

On the road in Rajasthan.
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  On the road in Rajasthan. -

On the road in Rajasthan. -

On the road in Rajasthan. -    

On the road in Rajasthan.-

On the road in Rajasthan.
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On the road in Rajasthan. -

On the road in Rajasthan. -
  On the road in Rajasthan.

Well atleast I've learnt to fall out of love with western abjection and let the story tell itself.

Provoke. and ellicit a reaction.

Sirroco

It's a simple game. 

Wear your blurry-little-ricoh around your neck, be confrontational and leave your flash ON.


Get into people faces, don't be scared. Take a picture. Show them the picture. Leave.  Repeat.

A new delhi night club is perfect place for this little game - a game you play for your own drunken entertainment

Sirroco


Provoke. and ellicit a reaction



Sirroco



In 1968, a group of Japanese photographer including the likes of Daido Moriyama, Yutaka Takanashi and Taki published a magazine-style photobook called Provoke.

An attempt to capture a momentary reality (not represent it but be it)

The first volume of Provoke begins with their manifesto, as ascribed to photographers Nakahira, Taki and Takananshi and poet Takahiko Okada.

Here is an excerpt


The image itself is not a thought. It cannot possess a wholeness like that of a concept. Neither is it an interchangeable code like language. Yet its irreversible materiality–the reality that is cut out by the camera–constitutes the opposite side of language, and for this reason at times it stimulates the world of language and concepts. When this happens, language transcends its fixed and conceptualized self, transforming into a new language, and therefore new thought.

At this singular moment–now–language loses its material basis–in short its reality–and drifts in space, we photographers must go on grasping with our own eyes those fragments of reality that cannot possibly be captured with existing language, actively putting forth materials against language and against thought Despite some reservations, this is why we have given Provoke the subtitle, “provocative materials for thought.”


Sirroco

Sorry I'm going to be and shape the only tangible reality available to you my viewer. Well unless you were there.

Sirroco

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