Tuesday 18 Jun 2024

Telling stories in images & words

| DECEMBER 09, 2018, 03:48 AM IST

BHARATI PAWASKAR


Complementing each other with images and words, Vijay Jodha and Jaideep Hardikar both have focussed on issues that disturb the mind - be it farmers’ suicides or the silent suffering of marginalised people who remain anonymous all their lives. “I like to tell stories,” claims Vijay Jodha, who has 25 years of experience in print and audio-visual media covering writing, research, film and photography, and has four books to his credit.   

An independent filmmaker and biographer Vijay’s research book of portraits on aging in India, ‘Ageless Mind and Spirit: Faces and Voices from the World of India’s Elderly’ is a book with his photographer brother Samar Jodha and his photo project, ‘Tiranga’ are widely acclaimed in the photography world.

Author of the book ‘Yahan Ek Gaon Tha’ Hardikar, Jaideep Hardikar, on the other hand is a Nagpur based journalist and writer who has travelled to the nooks and corners of India to capture images of silent sorrows that make speechless stories.

Vijay, director at True Colours Film project at UNESCO (from March 2018) is a postgraduate in Film, Media Ecology, who has studied film making at New York University. “Many of the world famous, award-winning photographs are of those nameless faces that get lost in the tide of time, never to surface again. They are not celebrities, and there are no details of their whereabouts. It is them whom the world should recognise as heroes more than the ones who captured their images,” feels Vijay. 

Mentioning that he displays life-size images of the farmers’ families from Andhra and Telangana in his shows so that the audience gets to stand before them, face to face, look into their eyes and encounter their sorrow,” states Vijay whose photographs have been exhibited in various galleries across the world. 

Alleging that society is gender biased towards farmers, Jaideep deliberates that people forget that women also are farmers. Banks too recognise only men as farmers while giving loans to them while the major chunk of work is done by the women, not only in India but across the world. 

“It’s a bad situation and a sad story. I have met families of farmers who left suicide notes chronicling their world views. These notes speak of failed promises of the State, inability to study further, inability of repaying the loans. In one of such notes a 19-year-old girl requests her father to stop drinking after she’s no more and utilise the money got by selling their land to educate her younger siblings. ‘Killing myself will not put end to my problems. It’s a systemic failure and my death is symbolic of protest and also a request to learn a lesson,’ wrote the teenager before signing off death,” recalls Jaideep, adding, “All this girl wanted was to study and become a nurse than getting married with the money. It was a sacrificial suicide.” 

There are thousands of case studies and it’s time that our politicians wake up to this grave problem of farmers’ crises. It is a multifaceted crises situation. There is unemployment, global warming, artificial intelligence, water scarcity and poverty. 

“If we wish to welcome technology and enter all kinds of uncertainties we must take note of it,” warns Jaideep. 

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