Mark Him – Photography Exhibition On Indian Footballers

The surprising aspect of Riyas Komu’s upcoming cross-country series of art installations perhaps is not that football serves as the subject. The unconventional element is that Komu views the project as a responsibility toward Indian footballers, with whom he empathizes in the “struggle with their lives.”

Komu works in multiple media, including photography, sculpture and film. He seeks subjects among the urban poor, which, in India, sometimes includes the footballer: “Most of these footballers don’t even get a good room to sleep,” says Komu.

Three multimedia installations will be staged in the nation’s most prominent cities, beginning Dec 23 at the Guild Art Gallery in Mumbai, to which Komu, a Kerala native, came a decade ago and revived a lifelong football interest.

Football in India is the focus. Komu views Indian football as a political issue because, he tells the Times of India, “they are not treated well despite being national players”

The Mumbai exhibition, titled “Mark Him,” begins the series that continues in Kolkata (Calcutta) with “Urban Folk,” which also features video of players’ personal lives. In New Delhi, the title is “Extra Time,” followed by a planned fourth stage, “Shootout,” in Dubai.

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