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The Watchmaker: Pablo Bartholomew


In the early 1980s, when this photograph was taken in Bombay (now Mumbai), the old world still survived with the changing and the emerging new world. Near Princess Street, this watch repairer worked from the small space of his shuttered kiosk. He must have spent his lifetime working there. Maybe his father sat in the repair kiosk before him?

A few years before, I had moved from Delhi to seek my fortune. The big city life attracted me, offered me opportunities to work in advertising and the film industry.

When not working on film sets or doing advertising jobs, I would wander the streets of south Bombay. It is during this period that I photographed the vibrant life of the city’s fringes, wandering amongst the eunuchs, prostitutes, opium dens, rag pickers or just the old world parts of the city. In that way I was a true documentary photographer then, though I worked at other crafts of photography to earn a living. Later I got sucked up into photojournalism, which took up so much time that it altered a lot of my work spheres. After a quarter of a century, I need to and want to go back to my roots in documentary photography.

Pablo Bartholomew. India

August 28, 2006 Posted by | Southern Exposure | 1 Comment

Housing in São Paulo: Carlos Cazalis


People move up and down the stairs of the 22-storey-high Prestes Maia 911 building in downtown São Paulo, Brazil. The building lacks proper electricity, water, plumbing and an elevator. In 2003 over 1,500 people, along with the support of the Movement for the Urban Roofless or MSTC – the counterpart of the rural landless movement MST – occupied the building in an effort to find decent housing. They had to clean out from it enough garbage and sewage to fill 300 trucks.

There are over 3,000 unused buildings in São Paulo, while hundreds of Brazilians arrive in the city looking for jobs and better living conditions. The city population is already over 20 million and growing, with most people living in the sprawling slum areas.

The photographer Carlos Cazalis was born in Mexico, but lives in São Paulo.

August 28, 2006 Posted by | Southern Exposure | Leave a comment

At The Mercy Of The River  swapan-nayak.jpg

'We are at the mercy of the river. Sometimes it spares us the agony of
shifting out. Sometimes it doesn't. But almost always it haunts us.'
Zoinuddin is a grizzled 70 years old. He is one of the people who live on
the temporary islands of the River Brahmaputra, which are constantly
flooded. I first met him when I was on an assignment for Outlook magazine. I
came back with enough pictures for my magazine. But I returned to the same
place a year later to photograph independently. It was then that I saw this
sunken boat being pulled out of the water. The immense labour put in by
these people to retrieve the boat struck me as the perfect symbol of their
daily struggle for survival. It was as if through this one picture I had
captured the essence of the lives of the people of the temporary islands of
the Brahmaputra.

Swapan Nayak, India

September 14, 2005 Posted by | Photography, Photojournalism, Southern Exposure | Leave a comment

Not Alone

  I took this photo on World Women's Day, 8 March 2004. It shows survivors
of acid attacks. Such attacks are still made against women who are
accused of violating social codes. Here they are staging an 'awareness
drama'. Amra aar eka noi ('We Are Not Alone') was written and performed
by survivors. Their dreams have been shattered, their faces and bodies
charred by a liquid fire - acid. But their indomitable courage and
will-power to rebuild their lives and move forward is strengthened by
everyone telling them they are not alone. All the performers use masks,
but at the end of the drama they take the masks from their faces and
introduce themselves to the audience. They are so emotional. I took the
photo to show this emotion, which I think is very difficult to describe
unless you have felt it yourself.

Abir Abdullah


May 12, 2005 Posted by | Southern Exposure | Leave a comment

Like Every Day

As the exhibition by women photographers celebrating International
Women’s Day, ends at the Drik Gallery, an Iranian woman explores the
everyday lives of women. Shadi Ghadirian was one of the photographers
featured in the recent Chobi Mela III.

I am a woman and I live in Iran. I am a photographer and this is the
only thing I know how to do. I began work after completing my studies.
Quite by accident, the subjects of my first two series were ‘women’.
However, every time I think about a new series, in a way it still
relates to women.

Perhaps the only idea outsiders have of Iranian women is a black chador.
I try to portray all our aspects. And this completely depends on my own
situation. When I did this series of photographs, I had just graduated.
The duality of life at that time provided the motive: one cannot say to
what time the woman belongs; a photograph from two eras; a woman who is
dazed; a woman who is not connected to the objects in her possession.

After marriage it was natural that vacuum cleaners and pots and pans
found their way into my photographs; a woman with a different look; a
woman who, no matter in what part of the world she is living, still has
these kinds of apprehensions. At this moment a woman is consigned to a
daily repetitive routine. For this reason I named the series Like Every

Now I know what I wish to say with my photographs. Many of them have
shown women as second-class citizens or the censorship of women. I wish
to continue speaking about women because I still have a lot to say.
These are my words as a woman and the words of all the other women who
live in Iran, where being a woman imposes its own unique system. The
photographs are not authentic documentation. I take them in my studio,
but they deal with current social issues all the same.

Shadi Ghadirian, Iran

March 16, 2005 Posted by | Photography, Southern Exposure | Leave a comment

The Price for “Progress”

 Shinzo Hanabusa is yet another artist to be featured in the upcoming
festival of photography, Chobi Mela III. Hanabusa's work on Japanese
farmers provides a fascinating insight into the cost of 'progress', in a
nation like Japan.

The Second World War had adversely affected farming in Japan. I began
producing a documentary on farming in 1962. The farmers were not getting
a fair price for their milk. Then Japan started importing powder milk
and things got really bad. In 1966 I heard rumours that the farmers in
Akita were setting up a resistance movement. Following newspaper leads I
went over to the locality. I was very upset, when I saw them throw the
milk from the bridge as a sign of protest, at the fact that they had
been reduced to this. But a big publication, Ewanami Shoten, printed the
photograph and it helped turn things around a bit, so I felt good
afterwards. I have since become known as 'The Milk Photographer'. I hope
the publication of this photograph in Southern Exposure helps farmers
around the world get a fair price for their produce.

Shinzo Hanabusa, Japan

November 8, 2004 Posted by | Southern Exposure | Leave a comment