“My first inspirations were world-changers like James Nachtwey, Don McCullin, and Steve McCurry. I firmly believe that photography has a role to play in provoking thought, spurring dialogue, and prompting action—therein being a potentially potent ingredient in an antidote to social evils.
“Photographs are informative, a record of what we do and value, and contribute important subjective testimonies for history.
That said, worldwide trafficking is a $32 billion industry, with over 700,000 women moved across international borders annually. It is not at all realistic to imagine photos making any substantial dent to improve this situation. The photos I take will do little to directly improve the lives of women and children in Sonagachi.
“To do this would take massive political, economic and legal overhauls, not to mention years of reshaping social values. This was one of my hardest realizations when following apparently humanistic callings. That images can, however, give people a voice and better inform a public debate, is some journalistic consolation. What makes it immediately worthwhile for me is the experience of earning an individual’s trust, and for a while, touching lives, sharing stories and learning from each other in a dignified, respectful, curious manner. This is the only honest thing I can convince people of offering them, and surprisingly it is also what seems to open the most doors for me.” - Souvid Datta