If you weren’t there at the opening of Delhi Photo Festival, you missed out on a slideshow of one immensely intimate and overwhelming series by Prabuddha Dasgupta, which was accompanied by a moving, self-composed guitar piece by Piyush Wadhera. What you do have time to catch up on is a mind-blowing display of work that’s been curated from all over the world; and it’s right here, in the heart of our city.

When you make your way to DPF 2013, here are 8 works to look out for |

1. La Famille; Alain Laboile; France

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About the work | Through his photographic work, the father of six celebrates and documents his family life – “a life on the edge of the world, where intemporality and the universality of childhood meet.”

What makes it awesome | The composition; each photograph tells you a different story of the photographer’s children, who are his muse in this series.

 

2. Safe Playground | Miyuki Okuyama; Japan

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About the series | In the series, images are captured from self-made miniatures in the studio; The photographs indicate time and space ambiguously – they are like fragmented memories triggered by something simple such as the sensation of touch or smell. “My images often represent obscure yet familiar places. Perhaps, I am seeking to create images that trigger something that exists in the human subconscious.”

What makes it awesome | The concept and execution; recreating scenes from his childhood, this work is imaginative and surreal.

 

3. Second Star to the Right | Geric Cruz; Phillipines

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About the work | The series tells the story of two brothers, sleeping under a purple sky pricked with firefly stars, imagining all the adventures they can set out on together. “They represent every boy who ever had a brother, who found out alone that fireflies die and mermaids never lived. These are memories, a gift, one brother to another, for every child who ever found the key to a fairyland, and every man who tried to find his way back.”

What makes it awesome | The series as a whole is riveting; the details – the splashes of water – and how this memory is captured in each shot is what makes this work a favourite.

 

4. Ram aur Shyam | Kannagi Khanna; India

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About the series | Two brothers and their Bollywood dreams come to life, with a little help from members of the family. “Dreams never die; they remain with you forever as faded or forgotten fantasies. This photo series captures my grandfather’s story and his dream, listening to which I grew up.”

What makes it awesome | How relatable it is for any Delhiwaala. Conversations with grandparents which revolve around the glorious yesteryears and long-forgotten heroes from Bollywood come together in this effervescent series.

 

5. The Animals | Giacomo Brunelli; Italy

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About the series | This series has been 8 years in the making! As a child, the photographer spent a great deal of time playing with animals; in this series, he pushes his camera lens to its closest point of focus, forcing a fight or flight reaction out of the animal. “The animals that I photograph are found in backyards, small villages, fields and farms, which is why I call my working style ‘animal-focused street photography.'”

What makes it awesome | Interesting concept of course; but this one makes for a riveting display. Photographs on backlit boxes light up a nook of the courtyard, and animals come to life.

 

6. Amelia’s World and Animal Affinity | Robin Schwartz; U.S.A

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About the series | Photographs of the artist’s daughter, Amelia’s real relationships and encounters with animals. “My daughter and I share an affinity towards the animal kingdom and we play out our fantasies and explore our eccentricities by creating a cultural space where animals not only co-exist with humans, but also interact fully.”

What makes it awesome | The ease with which a camaraderie between humans and animals is shown. Conceptually engaging; and the execution is stellar

 

7. Admissions Ward | Flavia Schuster; Argentina

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About the series | Shot with inmates of Borda Psychiatric Hospital in Buenos Aires, the series documents how “the mad ones” look at themselves in a mirror. It ties in with Jacques Lacan’s proposed “mirror stage”, which apparently is a passage in ones psychological development. “My favourite is a delirious kid living in the body of a 53 year old man, one that wears the exact same clothes every day. Another one has been Jesus for a few years.”

What makes it awesome | It’s gut-wrenching, it will get you squeamish; but what is art if it doesn’t shake your foundations?

 

8. Early Work: Late 1980s-1990s | Prabuddha Dasgupta; India

Credit Mandatory. 'The Estate of Prabudhha Dasgupta'.

About the series | Prabuddha’s work, displayed as a part of this series, is a commentary on an era that witnessed a cultural evolution. It’s an “editorial representation of his understanding of beauty in these times. His interpretation of fashion was believable and gave the sense of being factual records rather than visions of fantasy. The stance of fashion in these images was almost secondary to his statement on the revelation of beauty.”

What makes it awesome | Prabuddha’s work makes a statement; it’s the most compelling interpretation of his times, and we see many familiar faces through his eyes.

Catch the Delhi Photo Fest 2013 at India Habitat Center, on till the 11th of October, 2013. All details on their website.