Where They Belong

Vinit Gupta

Delhi Photo Festival

Delhi Photo Festival
New Delhi, India


  • Title: Where They Belong
  • Creator: Vinit Gupta
  • Date: 2015
  • Photographer's site: www.vinitguptaphotography.wordpress.com
  • Photographer: Vinit Gupta
  • About the series: I first visited Mahan forest in March 2013 to document the ongoing protests of the indigenous people against the acquisition of forest land for coal mining. Once there, I felt the need for a longer engagement with people and started working with a local organisation in order to understand the relationship these indigenous communities share with the forests. In the past two years, I interacted and interviewed these communities and their individual members extensively, and got to know about the deep seated corruption, exploitation and insidious administrative policies that threaten the livelihood of people in at least 54 villages surrounding the forest. The portraits made in Mahan, celebrate the legacy of individuals who sustain the environment and culture and document the dignity in their way of life. These portraits chronicle the changing face of the Mahan community at the critical time, when they are facing significant social and economic changes. Their struggle is not only for basic rights, to assert their identity and gain respect and acknowledgement, but also to preserve a forest that defines who they are and where they belong.
  • About the Photographer: Vinit Gupta is a documentary photographer based in New Delhi, India. After completing his Masters Degree in Economics, he worked for Investment Research for a few years. In 2011, he left his job and started working as an independent researcher in the development sector. Currently he is pursuing his Master’s in Anthropology and working on long-term documentary projects.
  • #DPF2015: 2015

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