Since its inception, photography has been a medium intertwined with the modern city. From the 19th century to present day, it has been used as a tool to reflect, challenge and engage with the multi-faceted layers of the urban metropolis. The two have developed hand-in-hand, the medium constantly reinventing itself in order to keep up with the quick pace of the ever-shifting cityscape.
The inaugural edition of FOCUS Festival is a tribute to this relationship. Inspired by the unparalleled energy and many-layers of Mumbai, we have brought together a tailor-made programme built to respond to the city’s vibrant and diverse community. Combining years of experience across diverse practices such as architecture, gallery-ownership, art production and photography, we have composed a multi-pronged approach to how the medium can be exhibited in the city and enjoyed by the public.
Modelled on the democratic nature of photography, the premise of the festival revolves around making its rich history freely accessible to all. FOCUS extends out of the gallery space and onto the walls, shops and cafes of Mumbai as well into the very streets of the city. Working with a cross-section of different spaces, we hope to not only celebrate the art form through an eclectic choice of artists and new cultural collaborations, but also to reach and engage with a diverse array of visitors. This exciting initiative aims to lay the foundation for the development of a curious and eager new audience in Mumbai, whilst fostering new ways of experiencing photography.
Showcasing artists from both India and abroad, the exhibitions on offer impart a diverse international response to the urban experience of the city. The public are encouraged to join in too through a range of competitions that will be going live in the lead-up to FOCUS, including a contest revolving around industrial spaces run by Café Zoe and a competition for students entitled ‘Woman in the City’ which will be run by Youth Incorporated Magazine.