New Internationalist

Gautum Narang

August 2005

In New Delhi a boy studies the Qu’ran. Gautam Narang captures the moment.

Gautam Narang, India / Drik Picture Library
This picture was taken in a mosque where children read and learn about the Qur’an. Gautam Narang, India / Drik Picture Library

This picture was taken in a mosque where children read and learn about the Qur’an. I was walking around the class. When I saw this kid I just paused. There was something special about him. The picture was taken in New Delhi, near where I live – which shows you don’t have to travel far to find something amazing.

What catches one person’s eye, while another walks past? With photography I have learnt the value of detail. It has taught me to look. This requires more than clicking a button. The camera allows the user to catch an image, but it is the artist who sees it. Life is full of speeded-up days, clutter – and very special moments. The camera allows you to focus, to observe a moment properly.

In India, I see uncensored reality – real poverty, real madness – not the sanitized, cleaned-up, behind-closed-doors society of places like Britain. Photography raises questions without giving answers. In their quest for answers, artists simply find more questions. Everything can be doctored – even these words. Read them once, forget them – and go make your own art.

Gautam Narang, India
By arrangement with Drik Picture Library Ltd, www.drik.net

This column was published in the August 2005 issue of New Internationalist. To read more, buy this issue or subscribe.

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