Madhavan Pillai: Decolonizing Photography in India

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Madhavan Pillai: Decolonizing Photography in India
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Mark Fonseca Rendeiro
in Amsterdam
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Madhavan Pillai
in Ooty

Back in the winter of 2016, Madhavan Pillai welcomed me with open arms and warm conversations in the mountainous tranquility of Ooty, Tamil Nadu, India. He was new to the city and we talked about the kinds of projects in art and photography that he hoped to make a reality for the community.

4 years later, Maddy’s creativity and commitment is as contageous as ever.

Today on the podcast, Madhavan Pillai speaks about his experiences over these past years, and his current project called “People of India”, a project that brings together artists from around the nation, as part of the ongoing effort to decolonize photography in India.


Listen and enjoy!

Gallery One Two

People of India (Book)

Maddy Works (blog)

Manikandan: The Vast World of Mobility and Manufacturing in India

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Manikandan: The Vast World of Mobility and Manufacturing in India

The South of Mumbai podcast series rambled into the busy and bustling city of Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, where we were immediately emersed in the topic of mobility. On one particular afternoon we went to visit Manikandan at his office where he told us about the history of Coimbatore, the impact of growth and the strong tradition of manufacturing. The centerpiece of our conversation, a project close to his heart – the Spero E-Bike. Listen in as we talk history, mobility, awareness, sustainability, industrial hemp and yes.. bicycles!

The Battle To Protect Kudremukh

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The Battle To Protect Kudremukh

The conflict is a familiar one no matter where you live in the world: Beautiful natural ecosystem where a vast amount plants and animals thrive is also the same land that a mining company wants to extract resources from.

Kudremukh National Park got its status in 1987. Unfortunately it was the target of Iron-ore extractions since the 1960s. Over the years instead of halting the mining, the company found ways to continue. That is -until a group of concerned and determined activists came together to bring about an end to the mining in 2005.

Niren Jain was part of this group that dared to take on the powerful forces in business and government. Their story is one of success but also struggle, as part of a battle that should be over, but somehow, finds new ways of carrying on.

Today on the podcast, in Mangalore, Karnataka, we hear the story of how mining was stopped in Kundremukh, and the aftermath of such a momentous achievement.

Video Volunteers: Stories From The India You’re Not Supposed to Hear About

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Video Volunteers: Stories From The India You’re Not Supposed to Hear About

While there is much pride about India as a democracy where people have rights and representation, there is also another side of India  which domestic and international media rarely hear about – the marginalized groups of this vast country (think geography, caste, class, ethnicity, gender, and more).
31116424195_0efb7f9479_zSince 2003, Video Volunteers has been daring to challenge the status quo of media within Indian democracy, helping train and amplify video reporting by members of communities that are considered by those in power as unimportant, weak, or inferior. Today on the program we’re in Goa, at the headquarters of Video Volunteers listening to founder Jessica Mayberry explain what the organization has been up to; their successes, goals, and challenges that have come along with helping these embattled voices be heard.

Fun fact: Back in 2010 we spoke with Stalin of Video Volunteers on this very podcast, listen to that show here.