Welcome to the new year, and with a conversation with one of NOOR Images newest members, Arko Datto. Arko s a mathematician and a physicist by education, and a photographer by choice. We met for the first time in 2016 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Our conversation wanders in to some surprising areas as we explore what it means to keep your politics and life at the centre of your work, about Indian classical music and what one can learn about ideas of time from it, about Roy Andersson’s precise eye, about the doubts and joys of following in a father’s footsteps and more.
Amusingly, we never get to an introduction–Arko immediately gets into talking about things that interest him, and so, I will give one here. Arko is a rare photographer who has managed to work with some of the finest publications around, and yet develop his personal projects. His works have appeared in TIME, National Geographic, NEWSWEEK, Courrier International, BBC, The Guardian, Al Jazeera, Financial Times Magazine, Liberation, Neue Zurcher Zeitung, Internazionale, Washington Post, Smithsonian, Harper’s Magazine, Vrij Nederland, Udvikling Magazine, Jyllands Posten, Mailman Kuvalehti, Le Journal de la Photographie, Marie Claire.
He has two new books in the works. Most recently he has also curated shows for the OBSCURA Festival in Malaysia in 2016, and the KOCHI BIENNALE in 2014.
Arko was at the Danish School of Photojournalism in 2003, but has since been working primarily in India, and about India. Winner of the Prix Voies Off at Voies Off, Arles 2017, and Nominated for Prix Pictet in 2016, he has found funding support from a range of sources, and continues to produce both commercially successful work, and long-term personal projects. He examines India, through a lens that is simultaneously personal, local, intellectual and global.