An Indian photographer has made the shortlist of the British Journal of Photography’s 2018 awards. Poulomi Basu, a native of Kolkata who is known for her documentary photography, is one of four photographers (and one collective) in the final selection of BJP’s International Photography Awards, now in its 14th year. The winner will be announced on March 27 and will get a solo exhibition at London’s TJ Boulting Gallery in July. Here are the shortlisted photographers.
Poulomi Basu, Centralia
In Centralia, Poulomi Basu travels into the forests of Central India, the hotbed of the conflict between Maoists and the Indian government. “Centralia explores the unsteady relationship between reality and fiction, and how our perceptions of reality and truth are manipulated,” she explains, referring to the obfuscation of the narrative in the Naxal belt and the alleged underplaying or masking of fake encounters and excesses by the state machinery.
Alys Tomlinson, Ex-Votos
UK-based photographer Alys Tomlinson’s series is named after term for the religious offerings given to saints and found at Christian pilgrimage sites. The series features portraits, landscapes or still-life images of the offerings taken at France, Ireland and Poland.
Harit Srikhao, Mt Meru
Thai photographer Harit Srikhao, aged 23, uses abstract imagery that combines symbols of his country’s monarchy and Hindu religious allegories in Mt Meru. Through this, he questions social hierarchies and idolatry.
The visual language that Foam Talent Harit Srikhao (1995, Thailand) uses in the series Mt. Meru springs from fetish fantasies, Hindu religious allegories and classic Thai imagery. With these referrals he comments on the sacred status of the monarchy in his homeland. The artist grew up with the idea that, in order to be a good citizen of the country, one must aspire to be like the king.
Phenomena collective, The Merge
The Merge, by Sara Galbiati, Peter Eriksen and Tobias Markussen of Copenhagen’s Phenomena artistic collective, toys with an existential concept that has been propounded by several philosophers (and entrepreneur-innovator Elon Musk) over the years – that we all live inside a giant simulation and world as we know it is an illusion. It also looks at the future of a society reliant and increasingly dominated by technology, especially with developments in robotics and artificial intelligence.
Paulina Otylie Surys, Dreamatorium
Paulina Otylie Surys’s photographs draw upon the communist period in Poland, where she was born, and give it an ominous tinge. “While working on this project, dealing with all things scary and hazy, I was attempting a revision of the world seen from the perspective of a child. The project is a dreamy fictional diary combining the concept of nostalgia for old times with a current fear of impending doom,” the photographer told the British Journal of Photography. The photos take familiar nostalgic sights such as family portraits and adds a piece of red meat in the frame, to create a jarring, disturbing effect.
Photographs and information from the British Journal of Photography.