A growing number of Indian photographers are self-publishing photo books, even though it’s expensive to self publish, especially without a
A growing number of Indian photographers are self-publishing photo books, even though it’s expensive to self publish, especially without a book grant. Photographers prefer this model because of the creative and editorial freedom it offers. Photographers and visual artists also publish under their own imprints, such as Ugly Dog by Sohrab Hura, Editions JOJO by Kaamna Patel and Red Turtle by Soumya Sankar Bose. For the reader, photobooks now range from documentary, docu-fiction and explorations of culture to autobiographical, conceptual work that may employ personal archives and family albums as part of the narrative.
Magnum photographer Sohrab Hura’s book, The Coast, is an iteration of his long term project and his short film, The Lost Head & the Bird. Both film and book are set along the coasts of India, unveiling undercurrents of violence that is religious, caste-based and sexual. The book (like the video) is an editing masterpiece that uses found images and Hura’s own photographs to tell a story in 12 iterations.(Sohrab Hura)
The images switch between being brutal, funny, dark and silly and all together at once. Sohrab Hura designs and edits his books himself. “The work was made over seven years and is like Chinese whispers—each time we narrate, something changes. It’s like narrative is the new warfare,” he says.(Sohrab Hura)
Between 2007-2008, on a Nokia 6600 phone that his brother gave him, Sanjeev Saith made some photographs of his ailing parents, for whom he was a fulltime caregiver. “It was actually over two nights and two days in that period, that the photographs in the book Happy Goodnight came to be,” he says.(Sanjeev Saith)
Happy Goodnight, Sanjeev Saith’s photobook, is self published, and the book is pocket-sized, opening into an accordion fold that reveals the monotony of a caregiver’s routine in a manner of no beginning or end.(Courtesy Sanjeev Saith)
Handmade, hand stitched and bearing an open spine, Kaamna Patel’s limited-edition photobook, In Today’s News: Alpha Males and Women Power, appropriates images from the print media to offer striking commentary on predetermined gender roles and patriarchy.(Kaamna Patel)