This is Homai Vyarawala, and some of her photographs. I’ve been wanting to blog about her for a long time since she is an inspiration to me. She was the first woman photojournalist in India, and worked from the 1930s upto the 1970s. It might not be such a big deal for those who are not Indian but Homai Vyarawala totally broke the cultural and social barriers that existed in those days.
She studied art at The Sir J.J. School of Arts, learnt photography from her husband Maneckshaw Vyarawala, photographed most key political and social events pre- as well as post-Independence, AND won the Padma Vibhushan award just last year. She points out that she’d given up photography after 1970 because she was disgusted with the changed political ethos and leadership after Jawaharlal Nehru. Major exhibitions of her photographs were held in late 2010 in New Delhi, & also in Mumbai at the National Gallery of Modern Art.
I admire her so much because I can totally understand the sort of tremendous cultural barriers she undoubtedly faced in life. She’s a vital part of India’s history, has been and always will be.
That woman was just so badass. RIP.