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Bronze 2022 Editorial / Environmental

Children of Landfills of Delhi, India

  • Photographer
    Payal Kakkar
  • Prize
    Bronze in Editorial / Environmental

Photograph of migrant waste-picker children who showed me their secret way up the burning landfill. With childhood being spent chasing broken glass bottles down the garbage mountain and learning to pick plastics with resale value from an early age, children of untitled migrants lose their childhood to the landfill. The Bhalaswa landfill, Delhi has been burning for 3 months episodically due to severe heat wave in Delhi and temperatures soaring to 118 degree Fahrenheit. The photo highlights the urgency for climate action and the toxic relationship waste pickers share with landfill.

I am a self-taught artist from Delhi, India who blurs the lines between documentary and art photography. Exploring themes from architectural heritage to landscape and environment conservation, my work focuses on colour, line and form to make an emotional connection with the viewer. My photographs focus on landscapes impacted by human consumption and activity. By arranging form, line and colour, my work strives to highlight an emotional dimension by drawing connections to picturesque nature of the undoing of landscape, and the abstract aesthetics of transformation towards sustainable future.