Through the lens of the late Danish Siddiqui - MARKETING Magazine Asia


Through the lens of the late Danish Siddiqui

This article first appeared as the cover story in the MARKETING Weekender, issue 299, on 23 July 2021

“I shoot for the common man who wants to see and feel a story from a place where he can’t be present himself.” – Danish Siddiqui

Danish Siddiqui was a Reuters photojournalist and the first Indian alongside Adnan Abidi, to win the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography for his documentation on the Rohingya Refugee Crisis. On July 15, 2021, Danish was shot to death in a crossfire while documenting the Taliban Offensive in Afghanistan. 

His death is a reminder of how dangerous photojournalism can be. Yet there is indisputable value in a profession of “silent speakers” who capture photographs that transcend language and culture, to cast a lasting image into our consciousness.  

Danish Siddiqui
Indian editorial-cartoonist, Satish Acharya, posted this photo on his Twitter

German-Iranian journalist described Danish as ‘the man who captured humanity.’ The Guardian’s tribute to him writes that Danish’s breath-taking body of work for Reuters “spanned some of the world’s most era-defining crises.”

While the ethics of photojournalists have been questioned and raised as a concern, advocates have stressed its “distinct and important ability to indisputably represent the truth.”

Art and photo director, Molly Gottschalk, avowed that despite questions surrounding the integrity of journalists, “images of visceral power, ones which present unquestionable truths, will play an increasingly important role in not just accompanying a story but serving as the document that allows it to resist being summarily rejected with a buzzword.” 

Below is our pick of some of Danish’s finest images taken throughout his career. Read the captions for full appreciation.

Danish Siddiqui
Krishna, 11, at a marriage ceremony at her new husband’s home in a village near Kota, in the northwestern state of Rajasthan, in 2010. The legal age for marriage in India is 18, but weddings like these are common, especially in poor, rural areas where girls in particular are married off young. Some 47% of women aged between 20 and 24 are married before the age of 18, according to the government’s latest national family health survey
Danish
The worn-out socks of Ram Pratap Verma, an aspiring Bollywood actor, on a beach in Mumbai in 2013. Like many others attracted by the Indian film industry, Ram Pratap Verma made the journey from his small village to the city in 2005
A man feeds seagulls on a beach along the Arabian Sea in Mumbai, India, February 9, 2016.
People wait to cremate victims who died due to COVID-19, at a crematorium ground in New Delhi.
Members of the Afghan special forces tend to an Afghan soldier wounded during a firefight with the Taliban in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, on 12 July 2021. The picture was taken three days before Danish Siddiqui was shot dead by the Taliban
Danish
The worn-out socks of Ram Pratap Verma, an aspiring Bollywood actor, on a beach in Mumbai in 2013. Like many others attracted by the Indian film industry, Ram Pratap Verma made the journey from his small village to the city in 2005
Danish Saddiqui
The Pulitzer prize winning photograph of Danish Siddiqui | Above: An exhausted Rohingya refugee woman touches the shore after crossing the Bangladesh-Myanmar border by boat through the Bay of Bengal, in Shah Porir Dwip, Bangladesh September 11, 2017

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