“Photography is an austere and blazing poetry of the real”—-Ansel Adams
P R A S A R: Photography for Reporting the Actuality of South Asian Region
South Asian Region or SAARC region comprises of eight countries, i.e. Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka located in the southern part of the Asian continent. About 3% of the area of the world is represented by this region with around 1.7 billion population. South Asia is ethnically diverse, with more than 2,000 ethnic entities with populations ranging from hundreds of millions to small groups. South Asia has been invaded and settled by many ethnic groups over the centuries – including various Dravidian, Indo-Iranian, Tibeto-Burman, and Austro-Asiatic groups. The amalgamation of these various groups has produced composite cultures with many common traditions and beliefs. The combination of vivid cultures, tempting cuisine, white sandy beaches and steamy jungles make South Asia to a perfect destination for the journalists, artists and tourists.
Photography is one of the new media forms that have the power to change perception as well as the structure of society. Susan Sontag opines that, “to photograph is to appropriate the thing photographed. It means putting one’s self into a certain relation to the world that feels like knowledge, and therefore like power.” Regional cooperation with mutual understanding has always been the driving force of this region. Since South Asia is a group of neighbouring countries with different cultures, people and life styles, it is not possible to bring mutual understanding without understanding each other. The project PRASAR is a humble initiative of Dr. Anamika Ray Memorial Trust (ARMT) with its country partners to foster broader understanding of different aspects of lives in actual of member states. With it, people will see and understand different issues of the states through the lenses of the young photographer.
Lewis Hine had inscribed his views on photography to immortalize the quality of art as “If I could tell the story in words, I would’t need to lug around a camera” . Poverty, communal dis harmony, child labour, gender inequality are some of the burning issues that have stretched their iron arms over almost all the SAARC member nations. Dr. Anamika Ray Memorial Trust (ARMT) as a non profitable organization aims at ensuring a pro-research environment initiating and inspiring to uphold the diverse languages and literature of the South Asian region, along with promoting skills development among the students and young learners, through the visual appealing photographs as a narration of reality.