Despite the bludgeoning disparities that weigh down urban dwellers in the country, Indians of all ages, gender and social backgrounds today share a personal, more intimate dynamic with the city. This Indian city love affair, however short-lived or persistent has been documented ever so beautifully by a wave of Homegrown photographers that are helping build a brand new identity for the city.
This relationship with the city, however, can be expansive or limited based on your identity. For Indian women living in cities, the relationship that they share varies largely. Some can be limiting, some daunting and then there are moments of sheer freedom and independence. Indian women navigate turbulent waters often when it comes to finding their feet in a city. Artistic explorations in capturing the evolution of this relationship have been promising and endearing, all at once.
From documentary photographers to portrait photographers, here are a few Indian names that are giving this aesthetic a wondrous twist.
I. Ruhani Kaur
This documentary photographer also belongs to a larger global community for women and non-binary photojournalists called Women Photograph. Carrying forward the intent of this community to share independent visual stories as told by women, Kaur captures sombre narratives of underprivileged families and women who lead a life of challenge in the country. Her recent photo series explores the distraught lives of women who were widowed as a result of the COVID pandemic. She goes on to capture the narrative under a series titled Indian Covid Widows which is currently available for viewing on NPR and National Geographic.
Urvi who goes by the social media moniker Knotmeera is a fashion and portrait photographer who captures quite beautifully the emotions and nuances of Indian women living in cities. Using models, friends and social media creatives as her subjects, Knotmeera establishes a sense of ease and slowness to convey a visual narrative through her photographs. Her series of monochrome portraits of women in the comfort of their homes offer an ethereal glimpse into the lesser-known world behind city dwellers who otherwise lead a fast-paced life.
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