Silver Winner

Sound of Silence

Photographer

Debiprasad Mukherjee

Category

Editorial Photography - Documentary

Company

Debiprasad Mukherjee

Submission Group

Amateur

Year

2021

Country / Region

India

There exists yet another little world inside our big planet, rotating on another orbit with its own rhythm. It is insignificant yet it exists. It has its own citizens, own language, own emotions, own sounds or maybe its own silence too. We may be clueless about the existence of this world and hence it remains unexplored, untouched, unheard of and isolated - like a sudden mute moment inside a cacophony, like a piece of erased memory, like an island that doesn’t exist on map. When I was approached by a reputed NGO to collaborate with them by photographing a few deaf & dumb children in the city for whom they are working day & night, I had no clue about their work & their world. I didn’t have any idea about their life and situation. Though I was compassionate but I couldn’t relate. As a homework, I tried to learn introductory sign language from YouTube so that it can help me to communicate with those children. Also, I armed myself with studies on deafness on web. But that was it. And believe me, it was not at all enough to face the new world that was awaiting me. The very first day was weird – I could neither communicate nor I was comfortable with them at all. I guess, the feeling was same from their perspective too. But that was just the start of a long journey – an exploration of a hidden world, an unforgettable memory for me. Gradually, after few weeks, I started responding to the signals of silent souls. I started exploring the existence of an entirely different world around us. Their life, their stories, their smiles, their struggle, their emotions and most importantly their dreams & passions took me to another isolated island - so small, so insignificant, so unnoticed yet very conspicuously present – probably this is how their existence can be described.

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