Inspired by contemporary Indian authors, Betsy Karel went to Bombay seeking visual equivalents for the humanity, humor, mystery and psychological energy of their stories. Unlike many photographers drawn to the cacophony of urban India, she focuses, often in an intensely personal way, on individuals going about their everyday street lives. She waits patiently in the bustle of Bombay, as individuals transform public spaces into private places, forging islands of intimacy. She captures a poignant lyricism in the familiar, and the true jadoo (magic) of the city. Karel, born in New York City, now lives in Washington, DC. She worked as an award-winning photojournalist in the 1970's and early 80's. Here she collaborates with acclaimed writers Ardashir Vakil and Suketu Mehta, who have written companion pieces.
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Betsy Karel, born in New York City, now lives in Washington, DC. She worked as an award-winning photojournalist in the 1970's and early 80's. In 1998, after an absence of 15 years, she returned to photography to participate in The Way Home, a book and national exhibition on homelessness in America. During the past nine years, Karel has made numerous trips to Mumbai, creating the images in Bombay Jadoo. Her photographs are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Yale University Art Gallery, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, and the John F. Kennedy Library.
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