IMPHAL, February 1: “I am just speechless after watching this photo exhibition, this is like going back through time, it mirrors Manipur” Sonia Nepram, a filmmaker said after watching the photo exhibition of Phanjoubam Santosh during the opening day of the exhibition at Lamyanba Sanglen, Palace Compound today.
A thousand and hundred photos captured by senior photo journalist during his thirty years and counting career are displayed under the title – “Manipur Through Ph Santosh’s Lens.”
The exhibition is being organized by Lenz Film.
The inauguration of the exhibition was attended by deputy chief minister Gaikhangam as the chief guest and W Shyamjai, AMWJU president as the functional president.
Gaikhangam said that the solo photo exhibition of Santosh deserves much appreciation and that it has become a history record of Manipur.
“Photojournalism is a risky profession, and capturing different issues on film is a tremendous task,” he appreciated the courage and sprit of photo journalists who risk their life to capture historic moments.
He said this kind of profession is only for the brave and is what her daughter had ever wanted to become.
He further pointed out the importance of photojournalist as pictures that capture are visual evidence.
Recalling on how the photographers of the world war –II had captured the vicious side of war, he said that it was only after looking at the pictures that were taken during the nuclear attack at Nagasaki and Hiroshima that the world became aware of the disastrous impact of the nuclear bomb.
On the sideline of the function, Gaikhangam said that like Pragati Maidan in Delhi, a permanent place for hosting events is to be constructed in the State and the government is trying its best to complete the project at the earliest.
W Shyamjai , president of AMWJU said that the scribe body will organize a photo competition in the near future to promote photojournalism.
He mentioned that a single photo is worth a thousand words and communicates to the viewer directly.
There are times when photojournalist and security personnel tussle during conflict situations and the security personnel need to avoid such situations, he observed.
Recounting Santosh’s passion for photography, he appreciated his dedication towards his profession for the upliftment of photo-journalism in the state.
Senior correspondent of The Statesman, Yambem Laba mentioned of the time when he and Santosh were caught inside Myanmar by the military junta and had a narrow escape.
He said that such events need to be organized in the State for promotion of photography as the lens plays a vital role in communicating to the public.
He recounted the “fake encounter of Sanjit at Khwairamband bazar” and said that it was only through the photo evidence that the brutality of the police force could be witnessed and for later judgment.
Santosh began his career in 1980 and has worked with reputed organizations like North East Sun, Reuters and Press Trust of India and is the first in the state to work with international agency Reuters.
His photos have been published in national papers including Times of India, The Hindu, The Hindustan Times, Telegraph etc and international newspapers like New York Times, The Washington Post. His exhibition will continue till February 5.