Actor Parvin Dabas’ photos of cotton farmers at Mumbai’s Kala Ghoda Festival

February 5, 2010

Shop for Change’s friend Parvin Dabas – actor and award-winning photographer – travelled to Kutch, Gujarat to photograph cotton farmers for a collection of images.  Four of Parvin’s photos will be debuted at this year’s Kala Ghoda Arts festival in Mumbai from February 6-14th.  The photos will be on display at Artists Centre, Ador House, Kala Ghoda, Fort.  Read the press release.

Here’s how the photo collection is described:  Cotton is woven into the very fabric of India’s heritage.  For many of us this significance often fades to the background. But for farmers, cotton is not only a part of their heritage but vital part of their future.

In our new, urban Indian world, the faces of the farming families behind a cotton shirt or kurti are often reduced to facts and figures about commodity prices farmer suicides.  Sympathy is evoked, calls are heard for someone to intervene, and yet with the loss of connection to rural India few can relate to the individuals at the heart of our heritage.  Intrigued by the work of the NGO Shop for Change Fair Trade to reconnect consumers to farmers, actor and photographer Parvin Dabas visited Kutch’s small-scale cotton farmers to recapture the human element behind cotton.  As part of a larger collection of photos taken during the 2009 cotton harvest, these four photos capture a range of human experience that transcend the rural – urban divide: pride, smiles, concern, and hard but honest work and the hope of earning a fair return.

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