Three men from diverse backgrounds – Atmaram Deshpande, Deputy Superintendent of Police; Prasad Pankar, fashion photographer; and Chris da Gama, advertising professional; came together to capture the face of a smiling Goa. The trio joined forces to replicate the concept of the ‘1000 portraits project’ in India, after its success in London and Barcelona which resulted in the annual event ‘1000 smiles of Goa’.
‘1000 smiles of Goa’ showcases the warmth and essence of Goa through the portraits of Goan people. The second edition of the annual event saw 10 budding photographers, mostly students; shoot for 10 hours across 10 locations in Goa. The photographs featuring smiling faces of men, women and children present a snapshot of the true face of Goa and Goans.
The people behind the project are keen on the state tourism department featuring the event in its annual tourism calendar. Atmaram Deshpande who is spearheading the ‘1000 smiles of Goa’ project said: “We need to celebrate and promote the people of Goa in addition to the beaches, monuments and other attractions. Hospitality, for which Goa is famous, stems out of its people. ‘1000 smiles of Goa’ is a festival of the people of Goa and we hope that Goa Tourism will take it up as an official event of the state from next year”.
Goa Tourism has supported this ambitious project and is looking forward to add it on to its annual tourism calendar. Tourism Minister Nilkant Halarnkar said: “It is a great pleasure for us to be a part of this wonderful and unique initiative. A smile reaches across to people and spreads happiness. We are happy to support this project.”
The event which is in its second edition in Goa is quite new to India. So far it has been held in only three places – Hyderabad, Pune and Goa. “We want to take this concept across the country. We are hoping that people in other cities who share our passion will come forward and make this happen” Deshpande added.
Tourism Director Swapnil Naik said: “The ‘1000 smiles of Goa’ project showcase the essence and spirit of Goa in a snapshot. Moreover the project motivates youth including students to take up to this art form while encouraging them to look at our beautiful state through the creative and sensitive lens of the photographer”.
Prasad Pankar said “A smile is a unifying force which cuts across boundaries of language, gender, caste, religion and community. We look forward to widening our horizons with the support of the people of Goa.”