When art and journalism fuse
On Saturday 20th, The Inquirer team went for the opening of PONDY ART photography exhibition in the Old Distillery, in Pondicherry. Olya Morvan is a Franco-Ukranian photographer who spent two years of her life in Chennai exploring Indian culture. She finally stepped into it with photography. She used a camera to help her enter and understand Indian culture. Olya is a reporter of our times.
Her work conveys the emotion underlying current events. To cover an Indian festival, like the mourning of Muharram or Koovagam, you need the guts of a journalist and the eyes of an artist.The work of Olya Morvan is about beauty in reality. Her collaboration with PONDY ART creates a deeper connection with the photographs. The visitors to the exhibition are brought closer to the intense look of a young girl or the amused eyes of five year old monk.
While explaining her experiences of documenting the Mariamman festival and monastic life, Olya Morvan also talked about the situations she had to face as a photojournalist. She shared with us how she had to gain acceptance in a community as a foreigner, a photographer and a woman. For Olya, being a photographer is not only about getting the image but more importantly the way one interacts with the subject. Wearing a salwar kameez, drinking tea and talking is her way of merging in the situation. She believes in the need to be accepted by the community, to become invisible and create a truthful work. Being introduced to Olya Morvan and her photographs reminds us to look with humility and respect towards every culture. As students of photojournalism, it has indeed been a breathtaking lesson of humanity.
Photo: Kim Magnan
Research and Interview: Radhika Khanna
Camera: Jaykishan R, Radhika Khanna and Tintumon M
Editing: Tathagata Mitra