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Don’t miss the Chennai Photo Biennale

Star photographers like Pablo Bartholomew and Raghu Rai are on the line-up

By ELLE team  February 23rd, 2016

Tamil Nadu’s water woes, underground cultures and social networking for photographers are some of the subjects headlining the inaugural Chennai Photo Biennale this month. The festival organised by Goethe-Institut and Travelling Lens, a Chennai-based photo collective, is taking the art form across the city – exhibition venues range from public parks to metro stations. Here’s what to expect:

The exhibitions: In Urban Water, 15 young photographers mentored by Munem Wasif (Bangladesh) and Ravi Agarwal (Delhi) carry forward the conversation on the region’s water crisis after last year’s devastating floods. The photographs will be displayed in the city’s Lighthouse MRTS station. Chennai-based French photographer Yannick Cormier curates the public exhibition Surrealistic By Nature in Nageshwara Rao Park which features gripping images of non-globalised cultures. Other must-not-miss exhibits include Remembering Chandralekhaan intimate view of the legendary choreographer’s life and work, a collection of Argentinian photojournalist Walter Astrada’s images on the road, selected works from this year’s Delhi Photo Festival and Karan Vaid’s The Indian Dog Show Project.    

The talks: Star photographers will weigh in on various aspects of their craft at the biennale – we’d definitely book a spot for Pablo Bartholomew’s talk on forging virtual and IRL connections with other shutterbugs, and Raghu Rai’s learnings from 50 years in the business. 

Don’t miss: The photo walk through the vibrant streets of Mylapore; a team of architects will fill you in on the area’s rich history.    

Flip through the gallery for more highlights    

The Chennai Photo Biennale is on from February 26 to March 13.