“I have spent years photographing and listening to people, these are just three subjects that were picked for the current exhibition,” says Srikanth Kolari, a Bangalore-based photographer, about Thereafter. The exhibition, which will show in Bangalore from 31 March, includes images of Kolari’s travel and stay in Kashmir, the Jharia coal fields in Bihar and his travels through the tsunami-hit areas of Tamil Nadu.
“All my projects are long-term projects,” he says. Kolari rented a house in the Soura area of Srinagar, close to the Juma Masjid, and stayed there for close to five months in 2009 to find his stories. It took close to four and a half months for him to get his images. “Often I’d find that people would freely speak of their miseries to me, although I was a stranger,” he says, talking about an experience that proved cathartic for him. The exhibition will have images of pain and depression from Kashmir, a depiction of the dangerous working conditions of miners at Jharia and stories of survival from coastal Tamil Nadu after the 2004 tsunami. A former press photographer, Kolari quit his day job in 1999 when he discovered he preferred to take off on a lark and discover places and people. “It all depends on my bank balance, when I can afford it I just leave. I didn’t want do the usual stuff,” he says. He’s invested time in every image. “If you ask me to go back and get the same image, I doubt I would be able to,” he says, adding that he rarely does any research before heading out on an assignment. “It all just falls into place,” he says.
Sulphurous smoke rise from fissures in the earth around the edge of a vast open cut in Danbad district.
The photographer began his career in 2003 with fashion and industrial photography, moving to wildlife and press photography before deciding to be a full-time nomad and freelance. He has exhibited in Italy and Cambodia and in several cities in India.
Thereafter will show at Sua House, 26/1, Kasturba Road Cross, Bangalore, from 31 March-20 April.