A boy

I met a boy this morning. He told me his name of Akhtar Mohammed. When I first saw him he was sitting crouched on the street, holding his head, as blood streamed down his hands. Someone had thrown a stone at him and seriously hurt him. From a distance he looked like a piece of discarded cloth – a small, black bundle sitting there, rolling to-and-fro gently as he tried to bear the pain of the injury. He was crying, and he was alone. His garbage collection bag lay some distance down the street – he had left it there as he looked around for suitable trash to scavenge and take home. Before I could move towards him to see what had happened, a man appeared, carrying dirt in his hand. He crouched over the boy and, without touching his head, tried to spread it over the wound. I ran towards them, and stopped him immediately – the danger of an infection, the germs of the dirt just did not seem the right response to the large open, blood filled wound on this child’s head. As I stepped closed to them, pushing the man back and informing him that we will take him to the hospital for a proper dressing, I finally saw the child more clearly. Details »

The Collaborator

I started to write because I could not find a writer.

Or at least that is how I have explained this shift from simply making photographers, to producing works that now rely as much on writing as they do on making images. My three years of work in India, The Idea of India, and the recent work in Pakistan, Justice in Pakistan, are a result of a longing to add complexity and depth to my works. After hoping for years to meet – fortuitously or intentionally, someone who would put into fabulous text the ideas I was trying to capture through images, I realized that I may never find the kind of collaborator that so many others I know have some how found. Details »

Fabricated Histories, Celebrated Photographers And A New Frontier For The Embedded Photographer

Time Magazine’s Lightbox photography blog had a rather bizarre story earlier today. Titled Real Photographer, Fake War: Jonathan Olley and Zero Dark Thirty, it focused on the film studio photography work of photographer Jonathan Olley who once also happened to have worked as a news photographer in some conflict zones. What seemed to have attracted the Lightbox photo editor’s interest was the easy parallel between the fact that Mr. Olley had once covered real conflict and today covered staged conflicts for Hollywood directors.

What however caught my interest was this statement:

The film, from Academy Award-winning director Kathryn Bigelow, traces the hunt for Osama bin Laden through the career of one female American intelligence officer, played by Jessica Chastain. While the film has received criticism —from politicians and the military, not to mention historians who challenge the film portrayal of events— the virulence of the critiques may fairly reflect how realistic the movie is presented.

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