The simplicity of Punjab and its people escapes mainstream media, who remain consumed with a homogeneous view of the entire state. In reality the land that shelters people of all faiths and communities is a vibrant celebration of life where one can encounter some of the most humble and grounded people. This quality of ‘Punjabiyat’ is best captured in the visual series of photographer Sutej Singh Pannu.
The young artist rose to fame during the farmers protest in Delhi, as his images showcased the resilience and serenity of a population fighting for their livelihood. These portraits are not the same as any other bystanders but depict the photographer's close connection to the people he features and also to their cause. While media channels peddled a singular view of the farmers community, stereotyping them according to faith and politics, Sutej’s work regarded them with humanity, while dignifying their roles as revolutionaries.
Since their historical win, the photographer is now documenting the everyday lives of people in Punjab. Sharing shots and small montages that highlights their humility and the shared spirit of the community. We as spectators find a window into the simple streets and fields of the state, through a non pretentious lens that seeks to validate the common man rather than view them only as a subject. These also provide context into the lives of ordinary Punjabi’s, as each frame gleams of joy and pride.
Complemented with famous Punjabi ghazals, poetry and songs, Sutej’s work provides an ideal representation of the population. You can find his photo series here.
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