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In India, art is about the higher classes. Dalit artists are ignored or their work is called 'activism': Padma Shri artist Sudharak Olwe

Inspired by farmers' protests, Olwe is working on a new project, 'Photographers for Famers'. While documenting shocking caste oppression or gender violence, Olwe is motivated by struggles against power and giving back to the community.

Padma Shri awardee photographer Sudharak Olwe — whose work often means turning the lens on the oppressed — has formed a collective to bring together photographers from across the country to support the recent farmers’ protest, with the hashtag #PhotographersForFarmers on different social media platforms. 

Olwe, who comes from the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, says it is the duty of an artist to focus on the issues of the poor. He won the Padma Shri in 2016 for his work, and continues to document the lives of the disenfranchised.

Here, Olwe speaks with India Today about his work

In your work, you use black and white tones. Is that a metaphor for the subjects you cover? 

Photography in its essence

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