Photographs clicked by kids from Dharavi on exhibit at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2020

WION New Delhi, India Feb 08, 2020, 06.22 PM(IST) Reported By: Pragya Jha Edited By: Sparshita Saxena

The exhibit has pictures clicked by nine children, most of whom are teenagers, in and around their homes in Dharavi.  Photograph:( WION )

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Staying true to the spirit of inclusion and accessibility is a unique photo exhibition this year which displays pictures clicked by children of India's largest slum - Dharavi. 

It is that time of the year when South Mumbai's Kala Ghoda area transforms into a vibrant art district. The annual arts festival is highly awaited for the platform it offers to artists from across the country. 

High on culture, art, music and theatre, the 9-day-long festival is a hit with the city's art aficionados and locals.

The Kala Ghoda Arts fest offers a vivid glimpse into Mumbai's life, its local flavours, moods and people. One of its unique features is how people from all segments of society can savour offbeat artistic insights.

Staying true to the spirit of inclusion and accessibility is a unique photo exhibition this year which displays pictures clicked by children of India's largest slum - Dharavi. 

Interestingly, the kids were part of a 5-day photography workshop conducted last year by Indo-Canadian documentary and portrait photographer Kiran Ambwani. During the workshop, she introduced the children to the basics of camera work. 

The children were also given the opportunity to visually explore the vicinity with their newly learnt skills. The resulting pictures have been curated into a photo exhibition at Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya or the Prince of Wales Museum as part of the ongoing arts festival. 

The exhibit has pictures clicked by nine children, most of whom are teenagers, in and around their homes in Dharavi. 

Sam Nickson, a resident of Dharavi whose photographs are featured in the exhibition said, "initially when I joined the photography workshop, I had no idea what I was going to do there. It was all very new for me, I had never been a part of any such workshop before. With the guidance and inquisitiveness, I clicked the pictures to show Dharavi as I see it through my camera."

Sakshi Gupta, another resident whose pictures are on display says, she had never been to a museum before this and now that she is here, her own pictures are for everyone to see. She further adds, "the photography lessons taught us not only the technicals but also varied perspectives to reimagine our daily settings and the locality I have been residing in for years now."

Ambwani, who volunteered to teach these children, named the exhibition 'Full Circle' as it resembles her life journey. 

It was fifteen years ago when as a student of photography she explored the locality and its people. She went on to graduate from Canada and fifteen years later decided to come back and teach the children of Dharavi. 

"It was great to see them learn not only the basics of photography but also communication skills and gain confidence. I proposed the idea of exhibiting photos taken by these kids at the Kala Ghoda festival and that's how we are able to put this together. The public's reaction towards their work can be truly valorizing for these kids."

Photographs clicked by children of Dharavi are on exhibit at the Coomaraswamy Hall, CSMVS (Prince of Wales) Museum in Mumbai. The Kala Ghoda festival concludes on February 9.