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GoaPhoto is an international photography festival that produces location-specific installations connecting photographic displays and their architectural contexts.

Its second edition will be held from 23 to 26 November 2017 in the village of Saligao, some 20 km north of Panaji (Goa’s capital), which boasts many remarkable examples of Goan heritage architecture. Because many of these homes continue to be lived in and used as residences, the project will propose an innovative approach to working with “living heritage”.

We have requested six curators to explore the theme of “the domestic” and to respond to the location their exhibitions will inhabit, as the private spaces that constitute our venues will retain their in situ furniture: it will be a case of two aesthetics -the photographic and the domestic- engaging with each other.

What kind of exhibition can populate a snake box in the house of a set designer? Can the two-seater palanquin that receives visitors in one of the residencies be used as a frame for a Mexican photo essay? Can we highlight the cosiness of a visiting room by displaying an exhibition on cushions? Is exhibiting in a kitchen going too far? Are we serious? These are some of the questions that pop-up when one attempts to test site-specificity inside domestic spaces, assigning a central stage to the objects that inhabit them, and, in the process, attributing to them almost animistic qualities.

It is irrelevant whether the visitor is confronted with an exquisitely refined craft (china from Macao, intricate pieces of furniture made out of African wood, hand painted Portuguese tiles) or a plastic trinket picked on a trip as, for us, in the words of the much-admired Teju Cole, these domestic objects “are reservoirs of specific personal experience, filled with the hours of some person’s life. They have been touched, or worn through use”.  Taking fine art photography out of the gallery is another instance of our penchant for all things middlebrow.

Bring your walking shoes, and we will take you on a photographic tour that seamlessly mixes local and global in the village of Saligao, which is rich in charm and history.