A Photographer’s Promise to an Indian Child by Alex Masi
(This story was recently featured in the New York Times Lens Blog.)
Last year, NPAC published the story on how photographer Alex Masi in 2009 began documenting the life of six-year-old Poonam Jatev in Bhopal, India.
Today, Alex continues his decade-long commitment of documenting Poonam’s story and funding her education. He recently celebrated Diwali with the Jatev family. He also worked on stories relevant to the 30th anniversary of the Bhopal chemical disaster. Poonam, now 12 years old, wishes to be a teacher when she grows up.
Alex has set up a fundraising campaign to help send Poonam and her older sister Jyoti to a boarding school and to provide them with a future that will allow them to become confident and independent women.
“To cover the costs of their full-time education,” Alex said, “And to visit them once a year and photograph their evolving lives, I have set up a long-term fundraiser. 30+ ‘Rewards’, including Poonam’s print and many other prints from my Archives, are available to those who feel moved by my unique story of personal change through photography and social media.”
Poonam’s dedicated website: http://poonam.alexmasi.co.uk
Poonam’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/poonam.jatev
Since becoming a professional photographer, Alex Masi has devoted his efforts to expose peculiar issues of human-made injustice, focusing mainly on children and their living conditions, health and basic rights. He continually strives to portray his subjects with intimacy, meaning and depth, while aiming to present images that convey emotions and stimulate our deepest feelings of compassion, brotherhood and justice.
Alex believes documentary photography to be an essential catalyst towards a slow but steady evolution in people’s ideals and behaviour, as well as an essential tool for the viewer to learn with immediacy, and to subconsciously empathize with other human beings.
Alex Masi’s website: http://www.alexmasi.co.uk