5 x 8 - Biographies

Mahesh Shantaram

Mahesh Shantaram is an independent documentary photographer from Bangalore. His main area of interest lies in visual representations of modern India. He celebrates the everyday, the mundane, the leftovers when all the exotic has been consumed or left to dry. Adopting a contemporary style of art-documentary photography, Shantaram pursues self-assigned ideas that explore urbanity and its consequences, with a special focus on the phenomenon that is Bangalore. His keen interest in aspects of society, economics, and technology, where it concerns digital photography, leads him to take the debates forward in those areas through activities such as writing, researching, and mentorship. Consequently, his latest projects involve the personalisation of public spaces at airports (Airtime) and taking a look at the mess that people leave behind at weddings (Matrimania).


Zubin Pastakia

Zubin Pastakia was born and raised in Bombay, India. After having studied development economics and film in the United States, he returned to Mumbai in 2005 where he currently resides and works.

His personal work currently explores the built environment and how it relates to—and reflects—society at large.

Zubin has received fellowships from SARAI and The Centre for the Study of Developing Societies for his series documenting Mumbai’s Cinema Halls. In 2007, the same series was awarded the Toto Funds the Arts Award for Photography. His Built Landscape series was awarded the India Habitat Fellowship for Photography and has been featured in journals and magazines.


Rajib De

Rajib De started his journey with photography with The Telegraph in 1989, before joining The Statesman in Calcutta as a photo editor. During this time he received many international awards from bodies such as UNESCO and M.I.l.K. His work has been exhibited across India and abroad and in 2008/9 his photographs were exhibited as part of Tasveer’s third season. Rajib De currently works at The Bengal Post as a photo editor and continues personal photographic projects relating to Calcutta.


Sudharak Olwe

Sudharak Olwe a Mumbai based photojournalist, has tried to document the changes and afflictions in society over the years. 
Over the years his work has been exhibited and published around the world.

In 1999-2000 he was the recipient of the National Foundation Media Fellowship in India. The following year, World Press photo chose him as the only photographer from India to be invited to exhibit his work at World Press Photo exhibition held in Amsterdam for his stories on gender and the environment. In 2004 he published his first book, "Spirited Souls: Winning Women of Mumbai" (Samay Books) and in 2005 he was honored with the prestigious All Roads Photographers Award from National Geographic.This included an exhibition in Washington, D.C. of his work on Conservancy workers  of Mumbai In the year 2006 he was the brand ambassador for Manfrotto and his work on Conservancy workers was exhibited and catalogued by them to create social awareness. . Also in the year 2006 he participated at an exhibition 'India in Colour and its vibrancy' for Indian photographers at the photography society of Japan as part of the festival on India in Japan. Besides this he was one of the 23 photographers to participate in the Another Asia Exhibition for photographers from South and South-East Asia at Noorderlicht festival at Fries museum, Leeuwarden, the Netherlands in 2006. While in 2007 he published a book in for the National Foundation for India profiling prominent Indian non-governmental organization. . And this year, he along with German photographer Helena Schätzle showcased their images together in the exhibition"coloured worlds", the Indian world seen through the eyes of a German, and the German world seen through the eyes of an Indian.  His work on 'Improving maternal health among tribal people in India' was also published this year in the world press photo: New stories.


Vinay Mahidhar

Vinay Mahidhar started dabbling in photography from a very early age with the camera passed on to him by his father. His work now covers a wide range of genres including portraits of traditional artists to fashion and commercial work. Mahidhar has been interested in collaborative projects as a way of extending his practice outside the framework defined by the studio. In 2000, he collaborated with the artist Sudarshan Shetty in the show, A Brisk Walk Makes You Feel Good. In between his ongoing project based on comparative architecture across the world, Mahidhar is also in the process of working on a collaborative multi-media video based project scheduled for 2012.