14 June, 2021

Bereft Of Power And Strength: Raghu Rai On Today's Viral Photos

We scroll past a frightening number of images every day but only a few storm into our consciousness and get shared far and wide. These viral images might never see ink or paper, but do they say anything? India’s foremost photojournalist Raghu Rai takes a serious look at some of them and tells us, besides speaking his mind on the state of photojournalism in India today.

Bereft Of Power And Strength: Raghu Rai On Today's Viral Photos

Well, they say journalism is the first draft of history. If journalism is the first draft of history, photojournalism is the evidence of that draft – who we are or who we were. Most of us today don’t have the patience or the sensitivity to look at images, into the images, every element therein, every body language, every expression, and fathom what it means. The consumers of electronic media, where images are being bombarded one after the other, are particularly uninterested. The flickering screen doesn’t let you focus at the moment – the moment that says what needs to be said. These still images are here to stay, as a visual history, and a witness to what it was. History is written and rewritten but visual history is something that cannot be rewritten. It is the final evidence, and a simple clean mirror to where our nations stand today.

It is also unfortunate that the editors and wordsmiths of newspapers and magazines think their words matter a lot more than anything else. The next in importance are ads because money is to be made. So the...

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