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Framed
January 13, 2017

View Nagaland’s Konyak tribe through Fanil Pandya’s lens

Text by Huzan Tata

The photographer’s works breathe life into the formidable nature of the tribesmen….

After interacting with Aghori sadhus from Gujarat, the young photographer decided to use his camera to document dying traditions from around the country. “I chose to start my photographic journey by documenting cultures, sects or tribes that are on the verge of extinction; people whose cultures are threatened by progress and who fear losing their language and way of life. I want to use my visual language to provide a voice to those who would usually go unheard,”says Fanil Pandya.

Headhunters, his first solo show in the capital, curated by Amrita Varma, chronicles the Konyak tribe of Nagaland, a warrior clan with a reputation of committing honour killings by severing heads. Says the lensman, whose inspirations are Steve McCurry and Raghu Rai, “All human beings share basic emotions, and that’s how we are connected as one species. The Konyaks have a very fierce reputation so I was initially scared when I first met them, but as days passed by and I spent more time with them I realised that they are extremely social as a people.” A series of arresting portraits, the exhibition aims to introduce viewers to a community seldom spoken about.

Headhunters is on display at Egg Art Studio, New Delhi until January 19, 2017

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