Back in February, EngenderHealth asked me to travel to the North Indian state of Jharkhand to capture various aspects of their work on sexual and reproductive health with both urban and rural communities. Here, they are finding innovative means of engaging adolescents on what is very often a rather taboo topic. If you would like to read about this in more detail, you can have a look at my February 2014 newsletter: scroll down to the ‘View from the Field’ section. If you didn’t know already, I bring a newsletter like this out monthly. Click here to subscribe.
Gallery of images
You can CLICK THE IMAGE below to view all 75 images in a gallery of photographs from my assignment for EngenderHealth. If you are interested in purchasing rights to use any of these images, please write to me directly; rights may be purchased directly from this website from 15th February 2015. ‘© Robin Wyatt’ must be stated.
CLICK THE IMAGE to explore the gallery.
Here I am, on my first assignment of 2014 after a solid chunk of time in London delivering on assignments from Southern Africa and Russia and enjoying the Christmas and New Year festivities with loved ones. Once again, I’m back in Chamrajnagar in the South Indian state of Karnataka, working on assignment with overseas disability charity CBM and one of their implementing partners, Mobility India. Perhaps you’ll remember the postcard I sent you back in June last year of three colourfully dressed little girls standing in an equally colourful doorway?
Bathed in the evening sun, children demonstrate a traditional dance in Chamrajnagar, Southern India.
Today’s postcard is made from an image I shot just after wrapping up my work one day earlier this week. I had been capturing how a particular After-School Club Coordinator used methods taught by The Teacher Foundation (TTF) to involve a child with speech and hearing difficulties more effectively in activities. As I was packing up my equipment, a few of the children asked if I’d like to be treated to a small show of traditional dance. Of course I did!!
In response to popular demand, I’m proud to bring you the coffee table book I was commissioned to produce by PCI India. Simply click where it says ‘Click to read’ and it’ll fill your screen. To get an even closer look, and to enjoy it in glorious high resolution, click again anywhere on the page of the book and you’ll get a zoomed in view.
Together with their partners CORE Group, PCI have an incredible story to tell, one that I feel truly privileged to have been asked to help bring to life. India hasn’t seen a new case of polio since January 2011, and CORE-PCI’s methods and the tireless work of their field teams have been a huge part of the reason for this, at least in those parts of North India observed to be the most ‘high-risk’.
Through this book, you can get up close and personal views of pretty much every aspect of CORE-PCI’s work on polio eradication. You’ll meet the organisations’ big thinkers, the doers on the ground, the children who’ve become ‘agents of change’, imams who’ve helped overturn distrust of the polio vaccine in Muslim-dominated areas, migrant populations whose immunisation histories are hard to track and many more. And as you’d expect from anything by me, the story is told primarily through it’s visuals. There are over 100 huge images, set full bleed across the 30 cm x 30 cm square pages, with brief accompanying narratives sharing what I was told first-hand by those I then photographed.
This book is more than a celebration of a major accomplishment. It is also packed with lessons learned, which may hopefully be of use to those still fighting this crippling disease in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. As such, it has the potential to serve as a real tool for change. Please therefore feel free to share it far and wide. Thank you!
It’s time to wrap up my work with Mobility India‘s inspiring and dedicated team in Karnataka, at least for now (assuming all goes according to plan, I’ll be back here several more times over the next few years). Though I’m actually posting this card to you from Bangalore, where I’ve come to photograph the staff in training with The Teacher Foundation (TTF), the photograph was taken in the field in Chamrajnagar.
Girls in a doorway, Chamrajnagar: a postcard from South India.
As I was composing a shot of a community survey being taken using an innovative mobile application developed by Aptivate, these three curious little girls came to see what was going on. They added some real colour and context to my backdrop. So I quickly assured the staff who were assisting me that there was no need to ask them to move. Once my work was done, I asked the three young ladies if it would be alright for me to shoot this close-up of them, and they were delighted to oblige!
Welcome to my office! I’m only partly kidding. I’m back in Goa, which seems to exert a kind of gravitational pull on me (you may remember this postcard, which I shared with you last November). This time I’m here on what started as an enforced holiday after my client told me it would have to delay the start of an assignment I was en route to. Now I’m working away at my laptop, while facing this gorgeous beach and the ocean beyond it, sipping alternately on beers and espressos. I love my new office!
Postcard of a fishing boat on Patnem Beach in the Indian state of Goa.
Patnem Beach is simply idyllic. After too many visits to increasingly congested beaches, particularly in the centre and North of Goa, I’m finding it quite heavenly here. I first came to Patnem’s nearby cousin Palolem back in 2003, around the time it was getting ‘discovered’. A decade on, Palolem is pretty much in the mainstream, with restaurants, accommodation, canoe hire and so on from end to end (though it’s still very pleasant). Patnem, on the other hand, still seems to be relatively unknown. It surely won’t be long before this changes, as it’s clean, peaceful, has superb shallow waters for swimming and more than enough delicious food to indulge in.
I’m not the only one who seems to have made this a work base: I’ve spotted at least a couple of others with their laptops and cellphones, quietly enjoying the best office in the world!