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A visitor at the photo festival at Old Port organised by the Pondy ART FoundationSixteen-day photo festival ‘PondyPHOTO’ comes to an end

Over the last two weeks, Puducherry’s Old Port was full of life with with art and cultural activities. Thanks to the PondyART foundation, the second edition of PondyPHOTO festival has succeeded in transforming an under-used space into a highly interactive and publicly accessible one.

The 16-day photo festival ‘PondyPHOTO’ organised by PondyART in Puducherry came to a close on Sunday. The photo festival had an array of events including presentations, film screening, music, roundtable and exhibition centered on the theme ‘water’.

World renowned photographers Cheryl Newman, Mustafah Abdulaziz, Ravi Agarwal, Corey Arnold, Pablo Bartholomew and many others were part of this festival. There were also community project ‘Let’s Build a Reef’ with Temple Adventure, cycle tour organised by Sita Cultural Centre and workshops to understand documentary storytelling by James Whitlow Delano and Senthil Kumaran and experience underwater macro photography by Umeed Mistry.

Researchers from French Institute of Pondicherry (IFP) presented their work on water. PondyPHOTO also created a platform for voices of farmers, women and civil society to be heard on the issue of water.

The biggest encroacher of water bodies in our country is often the government, said Raghu Menon, Secretary, Pondicherry Science Forum, pointing out there was a lack of proper knowledge among the public and even among higher officials on the well-designed network of Pondicherry’s water bodies. Governance was a key issue in water conservation, according to Probir Banerjee, President, PondyCAN. “It is important to listen to different voices,” he said.

Besides discussions, there was live music by Chennai-based contemporary fusion band Oxygen.