Photo Mail focuses on contemporary photography practitioners, their works, and its aesthetics in the broader context of photographic theory and philosophy.
Portrait photography is one of the areas where Raghu Rai has displayed mastery, and where he has revealed his own deepest convictions about the medium. Photomail investigates photographs of four spiritual and political leaders made by Raghu Rai, seeking to find what patterns run beneath the surfaces of these images.
Alessio Mamo’s series of photographs titled ‘Dreaming Food’ was shot in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh in 2011, in which he tried to illustrate the contrast in the manner food was wasted in the West “especially at Christmas time”, and the widespread poverty that he saw in parts of India. The series was exhibited in Delhi Photography Festival in 2013, but when he posted images from the series during his takeover of World Press Photo’s Instagram handle as one of its awardees of 2018, a public debate erupted around the nature of his work and its political correctness. WPP has since issued a statement in which it clarifies the guidelines for its Instagram takeover, which is a benefit given to its award winners. But Indian print and online media subsequently took up the issue and it has been given wide coverage, with experts, photographers, and commentators weighing in from all sides. Now that all the arguments for and against have been brought out, PhotoMail takes a look at this issue in the broader context of poverty representation in India.