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A reading room by the JOJO Library
for Indian Photo Festival 2020
We invite you to put on your headphones, adjust your volume and immerse yourself in reading with this soundscape. 

Sohrab Hura / The Leeve

'‘Be careful’, my father had written to me, ‘It’s supposed to be unsafe out there’, words interspersed with photographs from the cargo ship that he was working on as he made his way up the Mississippi river to the port right outside New Orleans.

The immigration rules did not allow him to step on American soil and he had no choice but to remain on his ship. His short-lived glimpse of the country had remained only within those raised embankments on either side of the river. The America that lay on the other side was something he could only make sense of through a trickle of news and opinions that had been heard from a distance. Guns, Violence, Racism, Trump, A certain loss of Tenderness...

A couple of months later I made the journey on road down the delta from the confluence of Ohio and Mississippi rivers outside Cairo (Illinois), to Pilot Town, off Highway 23 that went further down from New Orleans. It was near here that the river opened into the sea and was the entry point into this part of the country for all ships including my father’s.

As it had been for sailors searching for land, birds now became my guides as I looked for the beginnings of water, leading me through the blues of the wetness of the land. The America I found on the way was not quite the same as the one that my father had imagined.

Just as it had been with my father, there was always a levee between the river and me as well. My father had been on water but had not been able to touch land. I was on land but had barely been able to touch water. Together we got a glimpse of the delta from our own sides of the levee.'

About the Author

Sohrab Hura was born on 17th October 1981 in a small town called Chinsurah in West Bengal, India and he grew up changing his ambitions from one exciting thing to another. He started with dreams of growing up and becoming a dog, which later turned to becoming a superhero and then to a veterinarian to a herpetologist to becoming a wild life film maker. Today he is a photographer, after having completed his Masters in Economics. He is currently the coordinator of the Anjali House children’s photography workshop that takes place during the Angkor Photo Festival, Cambodia every year and his home base is New Delhi, India.

Sohrab became a Magnum nominee in 2014, an associate in 2018, and member in 2020.

About the Publisher

Ugly Dog is Sohrab Hura's self-publishing imprint and is named in memory of his dog, Elsa.


Additional Reading:

To purchase the book online, please visit the Offset Bookshop 

Book video produced by JOJO Library

Post Production by Aditya Tawate

All reproductions are used with the permissions of the author and/or publisher.  

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