Documenting Disparities in the Millennium City
This article was originally published in April 2014.
When Monica Tiwari first laid eyes on the cover of Amit Mehra’s book, India, a Timeless Celebration, she realised the power of photographs. But it was not until she accidentally discovered her brother’s DSLR, that she seriously took up photography.
Monica is one of the 11 recipients of the Neel Dongre Grant for Excellence in Photography, by the India Photo Archive Foundation. The initiative has made it its vision to give photographers lacking in resources, a chance to showcase their work. The 2014 grant presented 11 photographers the opportunity to photograph a project titled Millennium Dreams, set in Gurgaon.
Her primary impression of Gurgaon was its loneliness. “I didn’t find the city welcoming and I wonder if anyone feels at home there.” These perceptions formed her approach toward the project. Monica finds the developments in Gurgaon confusing. She talks about being a witness to the opposite ends of the spectrum. For this, she gives the example of the glorious Cyber Hub mall, pristine to its tissue papers and potted plants, and then the migrant couple who she found sunbathing in front of the garbage dump. “I think it is great how the city has soared in various multiplexes and skyscrapers, but its fabric is held down by the potholes and the garbage dumps.”
— Written by Conchita FernandesTags: Interview, street, Conchita Fernandes, India Photo Archive Foundation, city, Amit Mehra, photography project, Monica Tiwari, photography ideas, Gurgoan, Streets of Delhi, Millennium Dreans, Neel Dongre Grant for Excellence in Photography, loneliness, Cyber Hub Mall