No. 72 Benjamin Chesterton

We’re back after a long COVID hiatus. We’re kicking off a new season with Benjamin Chesterton, @duckrabbitblog on Twitter, and his open letter to Magnum concerning years of photographing child abuse and other controversies surrounding the iconic photo agency. Trigger Warning: sexual assault, child abuse. This is a harrowing episode. Read his letter to Magnum here. The Statement with over 600 signatures calling on Magnum Photos to demonstrate accountability can be read here.

Since our episode went live, Magnum has released a statement about their archives, “We recognize that we made mistakes and we are deeply sorry for these. In making sensitive work openly available on the internet we haven’t shown enough care for the vulnerable people in the images, and in failing to give the right context to images, we have in some instances misrepresented photographers’ work. Not only has this caused offence to members of the public, it may also have had implications for some of the people shown in the images.” read the rest of the letter here.

Ep31: Smita Sharma

This week we talk to photojournalist Smita Sharma, about her work which covers India’s domestic servitude abuse, sex trafficking in Central Africa Republic, child brides in Nepal, and more. Smita Sharma is an independent photojournalist based in Delhi, Kolkata and New York. Her work primarily focusses on gender violence and human rights issues.
Her work has been published in various international publications including CNN, The Washington Post, New York Times, BBC, TIME Lightbox, The Globe and Mail, Spiegel, Channel 4, Quartz, Caravan Magazine, Newsweek, Human Rights Watch among others. Her work has been screened and exhibited in various countries including USA, India, Cambodia, Myanmar, South Korea, France, UK and Saudi Arabia.

Beena, 15, was going to be married in eight days when a distant relative in his forties with a wife and daughter volunteered to take her to meet her mother who lived in a nearby village. Instead, she was abducted and taken to a neighbouring state of Bihar. There, she was raped repeatedly for weeks. The police rescued her after her grandfather filed a complaint. The perpetrator’s family later pressured Beena to withdraw the case.