Chasing a Dying River: Ghat 24 Yamuna, Delhi, India

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Chasing a Dying River: Ghat 24 Yamuna, Delhi, India


Presentation on the photography exhibition, "Chasing a Dying River: Ghat 24 Yamuna, Delhi, India," by Souzeina Mushtaq and Praveen Chaudhry, as part of the FIT Presidential Scholars program.
"New Delhi, the capital of India, is ranked as one of the most polluted cities in the world. The city is also home to a passing river, the Yamuna, one of the two most sacred rivers in Vedic literature for thousands of years. Besides being the doorway to deep spirituality, the rivers Yamuna and the Ganges have also played a significant role in modern India's political history, religious culture, and economy. Although the river originates from the glacier 20,000 feet above sea level and travels a total length of 855 miles, these images focus on Ghat 24, one of the 32 contiguous historic stairways on the Yamuna river in Delhi. These images provide a glimpse of daily life, including a significant crematorium, a modern highway, a cantilevered subway system, and TikTok creators on this severely polluted river. They also give us a glimpse of human contradictions of deep spirituality and environmental indifference towards a river celebrated since ancient times. Unfortunately, the mega city is now the primary source of pollution in the river Yamuna."
Praveen K. Chaudhry, PhD, is a professor in the Social Sciences and Global Fashion Management departments. Souzeina Mushtaq, PhD, is an assistant professor (visiting) of Communication and Media Studies at the University of Wisconsin, River Falls. Together they have been working on multiple projects, including photographing the nomads and weavers of the Taurus Mountains in Turkey, the Changtang plateau in Tibet, Ladakh, and the Kashmir Valley. While on pandemic lockdown in New York they created a new work, “New York City: Pandemic, Resilience, and Hope.” The pair have exhibited their work several times at FIT, as well as at galleries in Mexico, India, and the United States. They have also shown in various virtual exhibitions.


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