Sohrab Hura is part of the new generation of photographers who has made the choice to continue to work with the technology invented in the 19th century using silver and light.
He has been the recipient of numerous Indian and international awards including the Indian Press Photo Awards, China International Press Photography Awards. Thirty year old Sohrab Hura let his pictures do the talking.
At first glance, it is tough to imagine the intricacy of thought behind the works of Delhi based photographer Sohrab Hura. He seems to treat photography with both contempt as well as deep a passion simultaneously.
While his casual appearance may deceive, his pictures tell a story so deep and moving that they transform one into a world beyond the realm of reality. Sohrab Hura uses his photography as a way of understanding his world and representing it through the use of his grainy textured and enigmatic pictures in black and white.
Sohrab Hura says, “I knew I was going to take photographs for the rest of my life, but there was no particular moment where that thought came about. It just happened gradually, while I was starting economics in Delhi University. For me, economics was an extremely heartless subject. I was in Delhi school of economics, but I was hardly attending classes in any case.”
He further says, “I hardly take photos. For me, it is more of an excuse to just travel. I do not know how economics would have allowed me to travel the way I do. Right after school my father wanted me to do an internship in a company in Gurgoan. I think those ten days were the best thing to happen to me because I realised that I do not want to do a 9 to 5 job after that. “
CNBC-TV18 met Sohrab at Delhi Lodhi gardens where you can still find the architectural works of the 15th century Sayyid and Lodis, a Pashtun dynasty which ruled much Northern India during the 16th century. Lodhi Garden is also where you can spot Delhi’s rich and famous as they go for their morning walks.
While photographing the beauty of the gardens, Sohrab opens up. This young photographer is a recipient of 100,000 dollar grant from the Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund, which supports photographers with a commitment to documenting social issues. He was also picked for prestigious world press photo Joop Swart Masterclass 2009, the first Indian to be selected in 15 years. Sohrab admits Delhi is home and amuse at times.
Hura says, “In terms of photographers, a lot of the big names in India living in Delhi, atleast for the big part of the year. I think in some ways it is nice to be here because you have a lot of initiatives which have been taken by foundations like Nazar Foundation which is started by the nation, Prashant Panjiar. You have regular meetings, you have the Delhi Photo festival with the Nazar Foundation. So, in some ways, there is a sort of a community which is small, it is vibrant and takes a sort of initiative.”
He further says, “At the same time, in Bombay, there is certain energy that is missing in Delhi. It is bothersome sometimes that the whole notion of Indian photography lies in Delhi Photography. That it is sad because it is a bit of a monopoly not because there aren’t photographers out of Delhi, but it is the way it is. “
Built in the 17th century by Shah Jahan and designed by his daughter Jahanara, Chandini Chowk is one of the oldest and the busiest markets in old Delhi. The sights and sounds of India’s largest wholesale market is apt setting for social documentation that takes Sohrab to the heart of India to bear witness to its reality.
Last year, he sold single print at the India Art Summit for Rs 50,000. Inspite of being absent from galleries, his work has travelled to several international photography festivals.
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