Iyanah Bativala Curates Kids in Focus Exhibition at Max Mueller Bhavan


October 2, 2015

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If you happen to be in town with some time to spare, we recommend you hop over to Kala Ghoda’s Max Mueller Bhavan Gallery to catch Kids in Focus. The one-of-a-kind photo exhibition has on view the work of children from Salaam Baalak Trust. The exhibition will showcase over 80 photographs taken by the children of the NGO, who have all experimented with the medium of photography.

Through it, they have explored and documented their own worlds and lives. This project has been conceptualised and facilitated by 17 year old photography enthusiast Iyanah Bativala.

Here are some pictures from today’s opening clicked by Iyanah’s proud mom Sooni Taraporevala







Friday October 2nd is the last day.

WHERE: Gallery MMB, Goethe-Instit, Max Mueller Bhavan, K. Dubash Marg, Kala Ghoda

WHEN: October 1 (5 pm-8 pm) and October 2 (11 am-7 pm)

ENTRY: Free CALL: 2202 7710


The other side of vulnerable

By Anju Maskeri |Mid Day


Children from the Salaam Balak Trust use point-and-shoot cameras to capture motion, monsoon and everything in between

Sixteen-year-old Aakash Yadav loves the monsoon. The puffs of grey, the chaotic droplets and gusting winds are palpable entities in his photographs that range from black and white to colour. “I find people are at their most vulnerable during the rains. And, that’s when I like to capture them,” he says, holding up a photograph he took at the Gateway of India of a girl playing in the rain.

Yadav, who stays with his parents in a south Mumbai slum, has been associated with the Salaam Baalak Trust — an NGO that provides care and protection to street children and aims to integrate them into the mainstream through education — for nine years. He is one of 12 children from the NGO to have trained in photography since January in a workshop organised by Iyanah Bativala, 17-year-old daughter of Sooni Taraporevala, screenwriter and photographer best known for her work in The Namesake and Oscar-nominated Salaam Bombay.



Photographer: Nagraj Mallapa Location: Charni Road

“I taught them the basics, but I had to call in for professional help since I am still learning myself. Moreover,” she adds, “they are a rambunctious bunch.” Bativala, a Std XII student of Bombay International School, approached photographer Ayesha Broacha and photo journalist Sudharak Olwe for help. Olwe says that the children’s humble background worked to their advantage. “While their life is all about struggle, the upside is that they are street smart and learn quickly,” he says, adding that he trained them on how to be confident on field, taking pictures in a crowd, maneuvering around policemen, besides of course, the technical aspects of photography. The Tata Group provided five point-and-shoot cameras and a computer to kick off the project.


Photographer: Aakash Yadav Location: Girgaum Chowpatty

This was the first time that children, all in the 13-17 age group, had held a camera. “Although some of us had clicked pictures from a camera phone earlier, they were random. They lacked meaning,” says Nagraj Malappa, 17, a Std XII student and the oldest in the group. His favourite turf for photography is Marine Drive and he is especially proud of a picture that shows a woman crossing cement slabs. “I like moving, action shots,” he says.


Photographer: Afrin Khan Location: Charni Road

While theory lessons were taught at Bal Bhavan, Chowpatty, from 4 pm to 6 pm once a week, the students were left to their own devices during the outdoor shoots. The cameras were given to the teenagers who were allowed to experiment with it at their own time. “We could capture anything that took our fancy, but would have to explain why we clicked that picture,” says Heena, who feels her best picture was that of a bird perched on a tree. Eighty-five of these pictures have now been curated for a two-day exhibition at the Goethe Institut, Kala Ghoda.



Iyanah Bativala (second from right), a Std XII student, with the Salaam Balak Trust children at Bal Bhavan, Chowpatty. Pic/Tushar Satam –