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FOCUS Photography Festival
Curated by Jason Scott Tilley & Tarla Patel of Photo Archive Miners
But whilst Coventry was a place of industry, wealth wasn’t shared. It was also recovering from war. Newcomers to the city lived in the damaged houses near the city centre, including Masterji and those he photographed. The conditions were poor and wages low, and these combined to create the public image of the ‘poor immigrant’. Masterji dispels this myth. In his photography, we see confident and well-dressed migrants, their spirit of enterprise and character brought out by the photographer’s art. The use of props, curtains and lights conveys theatricality and glamour, hinting at Masterji’s keenness for films and Hollywood.
This exhibition was first shown in the City of Coventry at the Box at Fargo Creative Village in Coventry in November 2016 – as part of the city’s bid for UK City of Culture in 2021. The exhibitions in Mumbai and Coventry have been made possible thanks to the support of the Coventry City of Culture Trust.
The Mumbai exhibition is presented by FOCUS Photography Festival, with support from venue partner Akara Art.