Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Crime Photography

Recently, while reading The Independent online, I came across yet another photographic category that was new to me: crime photography. What is this all about? I wondered and then began to read about a very interesting photographic competition:

The photograph captures a fleeting moment of violence, but it tells the story of far-reaching abuse. In the dusty streets of Simlana, a small village in Uttar Pradesh, northern India, a man is attacking a 12-year-old boy.

The boy's name is Pardip and he suffers from a neurological disorder that developed when he drank contaminated water sourced from the polluted Hindon river. But whose is the greater crime – the man hitting Pardip, or those whose disregard for the environment first led to his condition?

The Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, an educational charity based at Kings College London, has just announced the winners of its photographic competition, sponsored by the Wates Foundation, which asked for visual answers to the question "What is Crime?" The resulting exhibition, to be mounted in association with The Independent, includes Pardip by Alex Masi. One eminent competition judge, the film director Ken Loach, named it as his favourite entry.

Rather than traditional images of criminality and justice, such as prison bars or policemen, the competition organisers asked for photographs that would "stimulate thinking about harm, injustice and crime". The exhibition contains a series of powerful images in three categories – Environment, Finance and Violence – all of which ask the viewer to recalibrate their sense of what is, or isn't, criminal. Open to anyone, the competition attracted participation from a range of amateur and professional photographers.

For the full text, go here

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