Neeta Satam discusses combating colonialism and sensationalism in photographing “the other” to bring equitable discourse to photojournalism.

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Students in Kashmir discuss photographs during a workshop taught by photographer Showkat Nanda, @showkatnanda. Photo courtesy of AKS School of Photography and Visual Journalism

Years before I became a photojournalist, I was a geologist in awe of landscape photography. To hone my shooting skills, I began attending weekly meetings of photography enthusiasts at a local camera club in the Boston area.

In the first few meetings, I noticed the club was dominated by wealthy men who spent enormous amounts of money on the latest gear and “photo expeditions” to foreign countries. The equipment they owned and the countries they visited seemed like status symbols among this circle.

I often wondered, what if the “subjects” from the countries they visited showed up in the United States to snap pictures of them mowing their front yards or of their grandkids jumping on a trampoline?

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