Looking at the work of Walter Astrada I was struck by many of his images, his photos in the series Undesired “Missing women in India” are very powerful which you would expect and they do tell stories.
Looking on his website you’re immediately hit by the work he has done with images of civilians in desperate situations and heavy armour as well.
There are images which include children and one in particular shocks you as you look at it because it’s a young boy coming out of a door with a look of horror on his face because there’s a soldier stood outside, the only reason you know about the soldier is because you can see a small bit of his arm in a camouflage jacket.
There seems to be no let up in the intensity of his work as you also see stuff like a man having his head stamped on and also images of street fighting and massive unrest and a young boy laid dead with his throat cut with some faceless people stood around him.
Once again he definitely puts people at the centre of his photos and has great variation, one photo will have great depth like taking in a street and then another will be in an enclosed area like a car.
During this lesson we learnt about the use of multimedia and immersive photojournalism.
Walter Astrada puts people from disenfranchised communities at the heart of his images and shows a human aspect that you maybe wouldn’t see in mainstream journalism.
His work showing the plight of women and baby girls in India at a time when sons were the required child is extremely powerful and clearly shows that, in the not too distant past, awful predjudice still existed in developed/developing countries in a way few would have realised.
We were shown a short documentary about his work on this subject and I noted that, aside from people involved being interviewed, the images he took told us everything we needed to know because of the power of them.
Looking at his work called Undesired missing women of India you get a genuine sense of the desperate situations these women found themselves in just by looking at the pictures he has taken of both them and of the men who were treated almost like royalty compared to the women.
Astrada has obviously immersed himself in that culture and gained the trust of the women who’s story he is telling, and brought it to vivid life with the human aspect being very much the centre of the story.