Born in Bangladesh, documentary photographer Shehzad Noorani has a deep interest in social issues that affects the lives of millions of people in developing countries. He has covered major stories resulting from man-made and natural disasters in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. Other assignments for agencies like UNICEF have taken him to over 30 countries in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
‘Daughters of Darkness’, Noorani’s personal in-depth documentary on the lives of commercial sex workers in Bangladesh, has received the Mother Jones International Award for Documentary Photographer. He has also received an honorable mention by the National Geographic Magazine for his project, ‘The Children of Black Dust’, where he’s documented children inhaling millions of fine carbon dust particles from breaking batteries throughout the day.
When asked how he manages to keep himself from getting affected by the sensitive situations he’s in, Noorani said that initially he managed to use the camera as a filter and thought nothing affected him. But after he had his own son, he said that things that did not affect him before, affect him now.
“When I see a child breaking batteries, I see my own son breaking batteries,” he said.
In his interview with Dawn.com, Noorani talks about how he got into photography, his favourite pictures and how he rates documentary photography as a career.
– Text by Mahjabeen Mankani