T. Narayan /India


ARTIST STATEMENT:                                                                                                                     ver página en español

Narayan having covered most of the tough assignments in his career found Covid19 pandemic the most challenging one. It was as if the Earth had stopped rotating, everything was standstill. Empty roads, Trains had stopped running so was any means of road transport, Airports shut with planes parked on the tarmac, for months. Only thing that was moving on the road were the migrant laborers with their families children, infants, old parents all were walking miles and miles back to their villages for days, if lucky one would get a Tempo ride (running for essential services) where they would feel much safer.

In a war, Militancy or riots one knows his enemy but it was Covid19 pandemic the enemy was unknown. As a photojournalist one didn't know who the enemy is, was it the person standing next to you or the hundreds more standing around you at the Covid19 testing center.

Blue skies with best of Air quality to breath, But the Covid19 made people difficult to breath and choked their lungs for want of fresh air. At the end of the day after covering the sufferings of the pandemic one had to return home and in the process unknowingly bringing the Enemy home. While doing the coverage for months one had to enter specially designated Covid19 overcrowded hospitals, Morgues, Crematoriums, Burial grounds where all the victims were brought and laid to rest, it was very disheartening to see Covid19 victims being cremated or laid to rest without the presence of any close ones as everyone was afraid of becoming a victim themselves. It was the Do-Gooders who were the real heroes who performed all the rituals. Covering all this so closely one was physically-mentally and emotionally exhausting for Narayan.

Every morning before leaving for assignment, all your loved ones would tell you to be extra careful from covering your head, eyes, hands, wear PPE kit (Personal Protective equipment) with lots of sanitizer being sprayed all over one would leave home. On return a bucket full of Dettol water would be kept at the entrance where all the clothes had to be put and walk straight into the bathroom for a hot water bath, still that sense of insecurity was always there.

Insufficient sleep, fatigue had crept in as one was doing this day in and day out for months, watching people dying for want of Oxygen, bodies lying and waiting for hours and days to be cremated or buried.

Narayan is still trying to get emotionally out of it as he himself got affected and also losing his mother to Covid19 pandemic.


Curatorial statement:

Will our memory of the worst of COVID19 ever recede? Most of us spent months surviving locked up in our homes, hoping to live through each day.

Yet, there were ones who did not have a choice of distancing themselves from the virus and had had to keep the rest safe, essentially functional or truthfully informed.

These were the heroes, who braved it to risk themselves and their dear ones to ensure a minimum isolation in a world that was losing its normalcy.

T. Narayan is one of those heroes who gave us an insight about the turbulent time, which cut us off from even our nearest friends and neighbors. These stark black and white visually moving and poignant images are a reminder of how the human world was jolted, through these intensely heartrending visuals of health and cremation workers, the poor class laborers trying to get back to their villages walking days without food and water, the sense of helplessness and an uncertain future.

These images are a testimony of one of India's finest photojournalist, which will always keep the world reminded through an importantly documented history, which gave us the realization of the true value of every human life without any disparity.

©Sandeep Biswas



T. Narayan 

Is a renowned name in the creative field of Photography, especially Photojournalism. Narayan has more than Three decades of diverse learning and experience in photojournalism ranging among others, Politics, Nature, Arts, Lifestyle, Human interest, wildlife and Sports. In these years Narayan has covered major socio-political events, be it Kargil War, Kashmir, Punjab Militancy, Riots, Mandal Commission aftermath, Babri Masjid Demolition, Cyclones, Tsunami, Lok Sabha Elections, Assembly Elections, Cricket World Cups etc.

Narayan has been on the Jury for several National and International Photography competitions.

Presently Narayan is pursuing his other passion of teaching Photography and regularly conducts Workshops through his enterprise, "PhotoRoutes".

Having passed out from Delhi University with an Honors degree in Political Science and a Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism, Narayan joined the Times of India in 1989 as a Staff Photographer and rose to become the National Photo Editor of India's leading Newspapers and Magazines.

Chronology:

Currently with

Contributing Photographer -The Bloomberg Media

Contributing Photographer- The Daily World since 2016

31st July 2015 to 13th May 2016

Photo Editor -Open Media Network

March 20 2015 to 20th July 2015

Photo Editor- The WEEK Malayala Manorama

October 2011- October 2012

Photo Editor India Today Group

August 2009 - September 2011

National Photo Editor, Hindustan Times

1995 till July 2009
Photo Editor of Outlook group of magazines.

Joined the organization since its inception, in 1995. Core member of the editorial team; responsible for the launch of several outlook products.1989-1995
Senior Photographer with The Times of India,

Delhi (Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd.).

1987-1989
Worked as a Freelance Photographer for major newspapers like The Statesman, The Hindustan Times, news agencies: Reuters, AFP, Associated Press, The Newstime, The Week (magazine) and United News of India.