We’ve linked quite a few times to pieces written by photographer Asim Rafiqui, who posts regularly on his indispensable blog The Spinning Head. We unfortunately haven’t posted much about his work though. So when he wrote me this week with the great news that his project The Idea of India, which previously was awarded the Aftermath Project grant in 2009 and received Blue Earth Alliance support the same year, was just honored with a Fulbright Scholarship, I had to share here. Rafiqui will be based for a year in New Delhi, India with this support and will continue to produce new chapters for his ever expanding project. I went through a few of the essays and pulled out some of my favorite images. These pictures show the intensely rich and unsentimental texture of a nation so often photographed in cliche. I think this is a beautiful accomplishment and the essence of what makes this project and Rafiqui special.
It is great and inspiring to see interesting and important projects getting the support they deserve. And it is at least one good sign that there are photographers and supporters (grants, programs, publications) out there willing to develop long term and less-than-obvious projects. One of the first pieces I read by Rafiqui that set me off into thought was his series “What Ails Photojournalism”, which I wrote about here on Dva in March 2009 in the post What Ails Us. Rafiqui is putting his time and energy where his mouth is, and is proving that there are some outlets, however hard to track down and gain the support of, for big idea and revolutionary projects. And thats terrific, I hope we see more.