Photographic statements from a Mumbai slum

4 Comments

Apnalaya is a Mumbai based non government organisation that works with slum dwellers. It was founded in 1972 by former Australian High Commissioner to Mumbai, Tom Holland. The photographer Ian Woolverton has won two humanitarian awards. He is adept at generating public and political debate by using words and images to craft pithy and powerful opinion pieces. Recently he created a photo essay for Apnalaya. (Click on images for large version.)

 

Mumbai 83



Mumbai 59



Mumbai 63



Mumbai 7



Mumbai 19



Mumbai 22



Mumbai 76



Mumbai 88



Mumbai 91



Mumbai 93



Mumbai 11



Mumbai 78



LINKS:
Mumbai slum dwellers — long photo essay
Ian Woolverton's gallery
Apnalaya


Ian WoolvertonIan Woolverton is a British, Melbourne-based writer and photographer who has devoted his working life to not-for-profit organisations, including International Red Cross and Oxfam. He covered the Bali bombings in 2002, the 2004 Asian tsunami in Aceh and the Pakistan earthquake in 2005.


 

submit a comment

Existing comments

I have been to Moobai, stayed with Dominican sisters in slums just as bad as those pictured. The sisters were outraged as the slumdwellere were being evicted so that a new super highway could be built to the airport. No efforts were being made to relocate the people who had so little. It is a sad indictment on us that these places still exist.
Fr Nick Punch O.P. | 09 April 2008


Many thanks for such a beautifully chosen photo essay. In the richness of our land and our community one tends to forget. Thank you again.
helen m donnellan | 09 April 2008


Thanks for the link to the longer version of the photo essay. It shows the dignity, resourcefulness and joy of the people as well as their very substantial difficulties.

It reminded me of staying in the homes of colleagues in slums and non formal housing in Mumbai when I coordinated the Asian Centre for the Progress of Peoples.
Sandie Cornish | 09 April 2008


Poverty, Clothes and Population

Mumbai in 1950 had a population of 2.9 million. By 2004 it was 19 million – catching up with the total population of Australia.

A remarkable change in the world since I was a child in the 1930s is how the old Geographic magazines of the time showed poverty – from famine-faced coolies in rags to Depression tramps with split boots and tattered trousers. Now across the world, even the most primitive tribes are wearing clean-looking T-shirts, and bright cotton is clothing the refugees who live in appalling deserts or rubbish dumps.

This at least is a remarkable achievement. But for how long? Even this may not last.

Even clean water, cheap food and fertile land is becoming in shorter supply as India’s population rockets from 369 million in 1950 to a 1,000 million only 50 years later and is heading to add another 600 million by 2050.

Mumbai’s slums are growing bigger and bigger, not getting smaller.

See Mike Davis’ Planet of the Slums (2006) and think what compassion, what theology, can possibly achieve, beyond being horrified and donating to short-term relief organisations.

What censorship prevents open discussion of what humanely can possibly be done?
valerie yule | 10 April 2008


Similar Articles

Bars not always made of iron

  • Jen Vuk
  • 11 April 2008

By their very nature, zoos are perverse places. But this 'story of survival from the West Bank' is as much about a scarred community clinging to normality as it is about empathetic veterinarian Dr Sami and his endeavours.

READ MORE

Good grief

  • Tim Kroenert
  • 03 April 2008

Grief is a raw and complex emotion, and After Him evokes it beautifully. Anyone who has ever lost someone close to them will empathise with Camille as she copes with the death of her teenage son.

READ MORE