A Look At African Lives Through An Indian’s Lens

The African Portraits

Exhibit 320, Lado Sarai, New Delhi

Till June 16

Subjective-documentary photographer Mahesh Shantaram has turned to formal portraiture for the first time in The African Portraits. Following the racial attacks on Africans in India, Shantaram’s work documents the lives of African students living in India in a series of intimate portraits. He started the project to increase awareness of the everyday racism and discrimination faced by Africans in India.

The exhibition was first displayed at Tasveer Art Gallery in Bangalore and then travelled to Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Kolkata and is now on at Exhibit 320 in New Delhi.

Drawing attention to the individuality and humanity of his subjects, these photographs highlight the necessity of acknowledging and addressing the racism they face—and point towards the plurality of Africans, who hail from several different countries and societies and are yet nevertheless, unfairly and ignorantly branded in India by their continent of origin and colour of skin.