Ashim Ghosh on the Right to Education
Many-many years ago, the folks behind The IDEA were privileged to organize and participate in an event that still stands as perhaps the largest seminar on photography to ever be held in Delhi. This was "In Search of the Avant Garde" (1992 @ India International Centre, Auditorium & Conference Room) ~ an interactive jamboree structured around projected presentations by about a dozen photographers, two top AV units, one of India's largest photo-banks of the time, and India's largest membership organization dedicated to photography.
In the course of the two-day blast, one serious finger that was raised against photography in general was that a burgeoning population of ravenous and indiscriminate photographers was parasitically seizing and producing millions of images everywhere around us without ever even beginning to understand the least little bit of what such images did do, could do, and should do.
Accordingly, we immediately proposed an experiment to attempt to put together a book of images that would consciously and collectively seek to impact current attitudes and trends with regard to the concept of universal schooling for children across India. Three photographers took this up (Ashim Ghosh, Ravi Pasricha & Shankar Barua), and the very excellent Mohit Satyanand came in to attempt financing the project.
In the end, the original project itself never materialized but several rapid spin-offs did emerge in the form of (e.g.) images for a literacy campaign in the newspapers (Ravi's ), and posters produced by the pharmaceutical giant Cipla, associating the theme with 50 years of Indian independence (Ashim's and Shankar's images).
But the project also never really died in the minds and work of the four individuals who'd first thought to crystallize this concern at that seminar.
We're therefore delighted to carry this digitally updated address of the issue with images from Ashim Ghosh. His brief statement is unedited.
C-6/6046 Vasant Kunj
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