A photo exhibition on life in France in the 70s is coming to town

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What was France like in the 1970s? An ongoing photography exhibition in Bengaluru offers a look back.

Entitled “A trip to France, 1970”, the exhibition presents the works of Parmanand Dalwadi, professor of photography in Gujarat. This is a traveling exhibition organized by the Alliance Française de Bangalore and the India Photo Festival. He reached the city earlier this month.

About fifty photos are exhibited and capture the humor and tenderness of French daily life but also the disputes that shook it at the time. Parmanand had clicked them on his Nikon F camera as he strolled through the French capital on a trip to the 1970s.

Dalwadi looks back on the nine months he spent there: “I met my wife there, in an Indian hostel. When I came back (to India), I went to Calcutta and married her. His wife, Radium Bhattacharya, is seen in some of these photos. “Paris is like no other place. There is love in the air and I tried to capture those moments,” he shares.

In another photo, you see a woman putting on makeup in a restaurant, but you also get a glimpse of the interior design that was prevalent at that time. Although his favorite is a photo of a couple standing in front of Notre-Dame, the iconic Gothic cathedral, he points out.

Dalwadi says photography has the ability to elevate the ordinary to the extraordinary and preserve it for posterity. “At that time, Parisians did not appreciate being photographed because they saw this life every day (sic). But when I came back to India, a friend of mine said, “These photos are amazing. All French people must see them,” recalls Dalwadi, visiting professor at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad.

Dalwadi is inspired by the work of French humanist photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, considered the master of candid photography. He had assisted Henri during his photographic trip to India. Henri then asked Dalwadi to join him in Paris and work with Pierre Gassmann, another legendary French lenser. This is how “A trip to France, 1970” came about.

The show is presented at the Alliance Française de Bangalore, Vasanth Nagar, until June 30, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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