Look Who’s Shooting: Nirvair Singh Rai

Photograph/ Nirvair Singh Rai/Fabrica

Photograph/ Nirvair Singh Rai/Fabrica

This article was originally published in July 2014.

“I’m a storyteller. I first observe the story, then I pick up the camera.”

“I’m a storyteller.
I first observe the
story, then I pick
up the camera.”

As a photographer, Nirvair Singh Rai has an ability to connect with a place and its people on a deep level and portray their souls through his images. He says, “I step in their shoes first. Once you get to know them, your vision changes. It becomes more simplified.”

Nirvair recently finished documenting the elections in his home state of Punjab for a commissioned project. The resultant series veers between the harvest festival of Baisakhi and the changing face of local politics, as he follows the Nihangs, the traditional Sikh warriors, and the gatherings of the Aam Aadmi Party candidates. “I wanted to show the essence of Punjab and its people,” he says.

From the festivities and games of Baisakhi to bike rallies and fluttering banners of the AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal, Nirvair’s images capture two faces of a Punjab that is both deep-rooted in tradition and in a state of political flux.

Nirvair was born and raised in the city of Bathinda. He currently studies photography in Paathshala, Dhaka.

— Written by Sarang Naik

Tags: Look Who's Shooting, better photography, june, 2014, Elections, Nirvair Singh Rai, punjab, Baisakhi