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Abhijit



We immigrated to Norway after my wife's job provided us with an opportunity to leave India. We thought it'd be an excellent experience for her as an IT consultant and for me as a documentary photographer. All the options we dreamed of that weren't available in India would be present here. We were wrong. Within six months of immigrating to Norway, we found it very conservative and unlike the rest of the EU. Granted, my specialism is a niche, but not everything is as shiny as it seems from the outside.


The discrimination and racism I have faced in Norway are difficult to explain as "these things" are not open like in other countries. Part of me fears being shadow-banned and not receiving any assignments (not that I'm getting a lot now), but I must share my experiences to help others. I know I'm not paranoid, and my fight to get into mainstream documentary photography and "commissioned assignments" will continue, irrespective of these struggles. I mention "commissioned" work because many organisations/institutes/individuals want photographers to work for free. I am not here to do free work.


Although I have been in Oslo for three years as a documentary photographer, I have faced a lot of racial bias on many assignments in Oslo. Even with ten years of experience and extensive recommendation letters, I've been treated as a novice who has just started. Big names who talk about diversity, all-inclusiveness, sexuality, and gender have prohibited giving me access to places for photo documentation, only to know that the same has been given to a white person. Once, my "Norwegian" pronunciation was mocked by a well-respected South Asian person, only to be later dismissed as a joke. When I've called out this vile behavior, I haven't been listened to, and the blame has even been put on me. Frequently I am the only South Asian photographer, and I can only imagine what treatment African photographers and artists receive daily.


This is the first time I have expressed myself in detail to people other than my wife and close friends. I am still waiting that someone recognises me because of my work and not because I don't sound or look "Norwegian"

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