by Samar S Jodha
What an engaging evening! Prashant Panjiar launched his book with a perfect combo of Shekhar Gupta walking us through not just the images but the times they both were out there making the reporting.
From hanging out with the Mujahideens while dodging bullets from the Soviets in Afghanistan, frozen on a bridge on top of the Tigris River while the Americans were bombing from above, reporting through the collapsing of the USSR while running through the Eastern block in Sri Lanka on its peak of conflict or closer home in Punjab facing Bhindranwale and his parallel country, to bringing down of the Babri Masjid with Advani, which turned the political climate of this country. One could sit through and hear the contemporary socio/political/cultural history in the making of today’s India.
These were the days at the peak of print media. The editors, writers, and photographers brought the experience to you and not the loudmouth hyper television studios of today.
The book “The Which Is Unseen” is not your conventional photojournalist’s body of work. It’s beyond just layered photo pages after pages, but the stories and personal experiences of the making of these fabulous imageries.
As many of us know, any day, Prashant’s work speaks volumes and volumes more than he does. But his crazy nerve wreaking anecdotes and photojournalist career is a documentary film.
These are the kind of warriors who not only risk themselves in the middle of various conflicts, but they have lived to tell the story. Having dealt with both sides of the opposing parties, they didn’t suffer from cynicism. The pragmatic spirit keeps them passing the storytelling to the next generations of this profession.
And that is why I believe, on top of the photography pyramid, sits the Nobel profession of photojournalism, and Prashant very much belongs there!
If you are at the Museo, grab a signed copy! Thanks, Museo camera. Centre for the Photographic Arts for such an engaging evening!