A different lens: Photography with a mission by Vijay S Jodha

Updated On Oct 15, 2021 08:29 AM IST
  • A series called The First Witnesses by photographer Vijay Jodha, 55, recently co-won the best photo series award given out as part of the British Journal of Photography’s Decade of Change initiative launched to use art to highlight the climate crisis. The black-and-white series features portraits of family members of Indian farmers who have died by suicide. In a classic frame-within-a-frame style, they hold up for the camera, and the world, photos of loved ones glaring out from behind garlanded frames. Some just hold up now-redundant passport-sized photos. Ten stills from the series were recently on display at the world’s first museum of climate change, in Hong Kong, and then at Climate Week NYC, an annual event held since 2009 to coincide with the UN General Assembly. Here’s a look at some of those images, and some of Jodha’s other work. 
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Born to Perform: Part of a four-year-old and ongoing photo project shot in India and aboard with performing artists from 20 countries. Chinese ballet dancer Ma Li has one arm while Zhai Xiaowei has one leg but together they have performed all over the world.(Photo: Vijay S Jodha) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Oct 15, 2021 08:29 AM IST

Born to Perform: Part of a four-year-old and ongoing photo project shot in India and aboard with performing artists from 20 countries. Chinese ballet dancer Ma Li has one arm while Zhai Xiaowei has one leg but together they have performed all over the world.(Photo: Vijay S Jodha)

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Joys of Christmas: From a series on migrant itinerants selling inexpensive items in central Delhi during Christmas for tiny margins.(Photo: Vijay S Jodha) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Oct 15, 2021 08:29 AM IST

Joys of Christmas: From a series on migrant itinerants selling inexpensive items in central Delhi during Christmas for tiny margins.(Photo: Vijay S Jodha)

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Most of My Heroes: From an art project against mob violence. A series of poster-size faux stamps featuring forgotten victims of mob violence. Jaspal Singh was a baby murdered during the 1984 anti-Sikh violence. The zero value on the stamps indicates the value attached to such lost lives in India.(Photo: Vijay S Jodha) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Oct 15, 2021 08:29 AM IST

Most of My Heroes: From an art project against mob violence. A series of poster-size faux stamps featuring forgotten victims of mob violence. Jaspal Singh was a baby murdered during the 1984 anti-Sikh violence. The zero value on the stamps indicates the value attached to such lost lives in India.(Photo: Vijay S Jodha)

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Kashmir: Close to the Line of Control between India and Pakistan, a group of Kashmiri children try to spot their village on a globe gifted to their school by a visiting NGO.(Photo: Vijay S Jodha) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Oct 15, 2021 08:29 AM IST

Kashmir: Close to the Line of Control between India and Pakistan, a group of Kashmiri children try to spot their village on a globe gifted to their school by a visiting NGO.(Photo: Vijay S Jodha)

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V Mary holds up an image of her late father, Anthony Swamy. This is from the award-winning First Witnesses series that uses the frame-within-a-frame to memorialise Indian farmers who have died by suicide, and their loved ones.(Photo: Vijay S Jodha) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Oct 15, 2021 08:29 AM IST

V Mary holds up an image of her late father, Anthony Swamy. This is from the award-winning First Witnesses series that uses the frame-within-a-frame to memorialise Indian farmers who have died by suicide, and their loved ones.(Photo: Vijay S Jodha)

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Ramesh Sundaram holds up an image of his late brother Kalyan Sundaram. Also from The First Witnesses. Jodha says his photography is a reflection of his legacy, a reference to the famine research conducted by his late father, agricultural economist NS Jodha, and referenced in books by economists such as Amartya Sen and Jean Drèze.(Photo: Vijay S Jodha) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Oct 15, 2021 08:29 AM IST

Ramesh Sundaram holds up an image of his late brother Kalyan Sundaram. Also from The First Witnesses. Jodha says his photography is a reflection of his legacy, a reference to the famine research conducted by his late father, agricultural economist NS Jodha, and referenced in books by economists such as Amartya Sen and Jean Drèze.(Photo: Vijay S Jodha)

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Vasanthi with an image of her late father. As the marginalised Indian farmer’s indebtedness and vulnerability to the vagaries of the monsoon are exacerbated by a growing climate crisis, Jodha says he wants to break fresh ground on the issue.(Photo: Vijay S Jodha) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Oct 15, 2021 08:29 AM IST

Vasanthi with an image of her late father. As the marginalised Indian farmer’s indebtedness and vulnerability to the vagaries of the monsoon are exacerbated by a growing climate crisis, Jodha says he wants to break fresh ground on the issue.(Photo: Vijay S Jodha)

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