An Interview with Sunil Janah

Faiz’s photograph Faiz’s photograph by Sunil Janah
(I am now doubtful about the earlier picture attributed to Sunil Janah, so I have replaced it with one I am more sure about)

Thanks to Kamla Bhatt, we have podcasts (Part 1 and Part 2) of an interview with the legendary photographer Sunil Janah. Sunil Janah was one of the finds of the CPI General Secretary PC Joshi and became well known in the 1940s for pictures of the Bengal famine.There is a video of his photographs too that appears below.

Youtube Link

A number of pictures by Sunil Janah have been previously used in this blog (with due credit, of course). At the top of this post appears the famous picture of Faiz, with a very,well, Faizian look.

Link to Sunil Janah’s website.

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7 Replies to “An Interview with Sunil Janah”

  1. Hello,

    I am delighted to see this post, though for some strange reason, I am not being able to hear it properly. I am a researcher working on art and activism in the 1940s, India, with a special focus on visual arts. Could you please let me know how to get in touch with Mr. Janah. I am based in London..I hear he lives there too..could you help?

  2. Please note that Sunil Janah’s website has moved, as of 2008 October 30th, to

    http://suniljanah.org

    This site was originally (from 1998 August to 2008 October) at

    http://members.aol.com/sjanah

    But the move was necessitated because AOL has shut down its web-hosting service, even for paying members, providing no redirection facility.

    Fortunately, I noticed an e-mail from AOL about a month before the shut-down, and was able to find just enough time, in the midst of several personal crises, to move the website, which I had slowly and painstakingly constructed over many years (1998-2004), to the new location.

    There are a few links that are non-functional, and the site needs some reorganization and some additions of image archives. But otherwise it is functional.

    My parents, Sunil and Sobha Janah, may be contacted through me (Arjun) at sjanah@aol.com .

    Arjun Janah

  3. Hi Arjun,

    Thanks for the message, I have bookmarked the new site. Thanks for maintaining the site, Com Janah’s pictures are such an inspiration even after all these years.

    Wish Com Sunil Janah, you and family the very best.

    regards,
    bhupinder

  4. Dear Arjun Janah
    I’m desperately trying to contact you for an exhibition with your father’s pictures in France. I already tried the e-mail address you gave, but it doesn’t seem to work…
    Is it possible to contact you through another way?
    Thank you very much
    Anne

    1. Dear Anne,

      I did get two messages on my answering machine from a person whose name seemed to be “Anne Ravard”. But I could not work backwards to the spelling in French.

      Unfortunately, at the time, my parents (in Berkeley, California) and I (in Brooklyn, New York) were in the middle of survival crises, so we could not contact you in time. The crises abated a bit but now we have been hit by others even more severe. My father (now, at 94, blind and wheel-chair bound) just came out of hospital, just two days after my mother (herself, at 85, suffering from life threatening medical conditions) went into hospital (with a hip fracture from a fall returning home late at night from her husband’s side at the hospital, which is far from their home). Despite her own age and medical problems, she has been his main caregiver for some time now, as well as having to deal with running the house (where they live alone) and answering queries about his photographs. She had also been helping him with a book, until a few years back, which was very time-consuming. I too had helped with that when I was there for two years after she suffered a heart attack in 2006 August.

      On past occasions, I had dropped my job, and put my own wife and my own life-threatening medical problems on hold and had flown to California from Brooklyn to attend to emergencies there, remaining there for intervals ranging from several months to years, but I am no longer able to do so. In light of these circumstances, please try to forgive the inability to communicate in a timely way and to be of service to you and others on matters related to my father’s photographs.

      I had put up a website for my father, over a decade ago (during 1998-2000, with some additions over the next few years, especially after my sister Monua Janah’s passing in 2004 January). This is currently at

      http://suniljanah.org

      I have been unable for many years now, to maintain, reorganize and expand the site as I had once hoped to.

      You may communicate with me by e-mail at

      sjanah@aol.com

      and with my parents (after my mother is sufficiently recovered to handle e-mail) at

      sjanah1@aol.com

      It is best to cc me when writing my parents, and vice versa. My replies may be delayed by issues here (as I am still working at an exhausting and time consuming job) and theirs by their basic survival issues there.

      With sincere apologies… Arjun

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