Indian Photographer Wins Scholarship at Foundry Workshop


One of the images from Alok’s winning series. Here, workers at the Pushkar fair set up a roller coaster ride. Photograph/Alok Rai

Alok Rai “To me, photographs are like breadcrumbs. They help me navigate my memories.”

Alok Rai is a 29-year old Pune-based photographer. For him, the medium of photography is just another way to relive the journeys he has been through. He says, “The texture of life within a photograph helps to reconstruct the memory and thereby the experience that is associated with making the final photograph.”

His series of images of the Pushkar fair, won him a full scholarship to the seven-day 2013 Foundry Photojournalism Workshop to Sarajevo. Magnum photographer, Peter Van Agtmael judged the entries. “Winning the scholarship feels good. It is reassuring to know that my work matches up to the strictest standards in the industry. It also makes me confident of the fact that I am doing the right thing by following my own style rather than getting trapped into the trends.”

Most of his images in this series have not been published anywhere yet. When asked why he stayed away from showcasing his pictures on social media, he replied saying that they only offer instant gratification. Alok hopes to publish these images in the format of a book someday. “This way, the viewer can always come back to the memories.”

Alok loves to travel. He photographs his experiences sometimes using a DSLR and at times with his iPhone.

—Written by Ketan Kundargi