Prashant Panjiar

Born:

30th March 1957

Education:

Master of Arts, Political Science, from Pune University in 1981

Photographic Education:

Self-taught.


Career details:

1995 - Present

Consultant Deputy Editor with Outlook Magazine & Consultant Photo-editor Intelligent Investor. Doing freelance photography in addition.

1986-1995

Senior Photographer, India Today

1984-1986

Photographer, Patriot newspaper and Link Magazine

1981-1983

Photography and research for a book on banditry in the Chambal region of Central India

1979-1981

Freelance photography in Pune, India

1977-1978

Photography and sociological research in rural areas of Bihar, India, focussing on peasant movements.


Photographic Concerns
The lives of ordinary people has always been the core of my work whether it be in my journalistic work, projects or my personal work. And photographing these ordinary people with the dignity and respect that is demanded of them as individuals is of utmost concern to me as well as my endeavour.


My latest exhibition "Kings & Commoners" explores the same theme. Though the people depicted in my photographs are very different from one another in economic and social status, each one of them occupies their individual space with pride. In the end, I hope, the dignity of the individuals who appear in my photographs will tend to blur these distinctions - kings could be commoners and commoners kings.


All these photos are from my latest exhibition "Kings & Commoners" shown in India from January 2000 to May 2000.


1. 1984, Mohangarh: This photograph was taken while travelling along the Rajasthan Canal that was then being constructed. It was not part of the story but just a moment that happened while I was in the village. The children, the cow and the wall of the house formed a picture that is so eternally Indian.


2. 1984, Delhi: One of my favourite pictures and again just chanced upon. I was on a ssignment photographing another photographer (Patriot was doing a profile on him) while he worked in Chandni Chowk, Delhi. As we passed a temple, set in a verandah, I spied this scene from the corner of my eye. I abandoned my subject ( the other photographer had missed this sight and moved ahead) and managed to get 2 shots before the sleeping persons became concious of themselves and the onlookers spoilt the innocence of the moment by trying to help me get a better shot.


3. 1991 Benares and 1987 Rajasthan: These are 2 pictures that I prefer to see together though they were never intended that way. Both pictures speak of an innocent vanity - the boy with his comb and the girl with colour around her mouth mimmicking lipstick.


4. 1988 Mumbai: This was a picture of labourers in Mumbai as they slept on the pavement one afternoon. I deliberately wanted this picture to be faceless as a reminder of the innumerable annonymous people who migrate to work in our cities.