Rohit Chawla in conversation with William Dalrymple
At the Kerala Literature Festival, a session on photography was led by the leading contemporary photographer Rohit Chawla, who was in conversation with William Dalrymple, the award winning Scottish historian and writer.
Talking about his third eye, Rohit was on a horse ride that never got off the saddle, touching his beautiful memories as a journalistic photographer. He shared the walks of his life during his creative journey and the methodologies used in the process. The Quiet Portrait was presented with some of the portraits of the iconic figures of India. He shared the early experiences as an advertiser in the industry as he narrated the stories behind his photographs. The journey of a photographer with Indian politicians like Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Amit Shah, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi were best described.
He showed his favourite portraits of Vikram Seth and VS Naipaul describing the stories behind the shots. “Every picture has a story rather than telling a story,” he connoted. He also displayed the desperate faces of MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli during a match when India lost the World Cup by expressing his love towards cricket. "Cricket is my biggest biggest biggest passion after photography,” he added.
During the interaction, he was asked why he was not portraying the oppressed, marginalised, unknown and underprivileged faces rather than showing the big-iconic faces. William Dalrymple replied to this question by quoting examples of the portraits Rohit had done with the tribal and marginalised people of Kutch. With a deep insight in photography, the session concluded with the active participation from a cheerful audience.