in conversation with rohit jain

in conversation with poorna swami

What question do you keep coming back to in your arts practice?

“Emotions are one of the main things that bring humanity closer. I always ask if my work is bringing humanity closer? Can people relate to other people’s agony and hope through my photographs? I am in the field covering human stories to stir a debate, hoping to create an impact. Am I being able to showcase my work in this direction? I need to go deeper to convey the unrealized and unreported aspects of social issues. When people share their stories with me I have to convey these stories to the masses in the best manner. It becomes my responsibility to show respect to the people.”

in conversation with poorna swami
in conversation with poorna swami
in conversation with poorna swami

What discipline, other than your own, do you draw most from?

“While in field I try to talk about social behavior change. I share my knowledge with communities and seek their knowledge for a better society. Recently I visited extremely marginalized schedule cast community Mushahar in Bihar. Seeing children with flowing nose, mucous flowed from their nose dried, dust set on it and blocked their nostrils. I wonder how they breathe? Then we did some photography activities and tried to sensitize the children and their guardians about hygiene. Later two children bathe that day.”

in conversation with poorna swami

What do you enjoy most about the process of creating new work and what recurring challenges do you encounter?

“It is always exciting to meet people, to know them, to know their culture and way of life. I always learn something new from people I meet during my work. I look forward to see people, that glow in their face, that sadness and hope in their eyes. Their smile and laugh, how little children play freely. People store too much pain and hope inside them. They bring it all on surface when we talk. Having realised that I am talking with them because I need to document their stories and take their photo makes me feel bad about me. I know my ‘selfishness’ always work in this whole process. I have been working on this aspect of my mental conditioning. I hope I will be able to dissolve such conditioning.”

in conversation with poorna swami
in conversation with poorna swami