Inspiration

Throughout my exploration of development, I have been inspired by many. The list of individuals and organizations whose work has helped me in my own quest would be too long, but I would like to mention at least some of the thinkers and artists who have shaped my understanding of the world. 

 

Thinkers and academics

I have been strongly influenced by Amartya Sen (in particular his book Development as Freedom) and the human development theory. I find Edward Said's conception of Orientalism particularly relevant to the analysis of development. James Scott and the idea of high modernism as a tool to understand the relationship between development and social engineering has also greatly shaped my understanding of development. 

Photography and the visual arts

In photography, my influences range from the impromptu street photography of Gary Winogrand to the visual poetry of Josef Sudek. I owe a lot of my inspiration to Josef Koudelka, whose 1988 masterpiece Exiles captures so wonderfully the condition of in-betweenness, both  the human predicament of trespassing man-made boundaries, and the intricate link between visual forms and philosophical meaning. 

Film

In the genre of documentary film, I have found inspiration in films that attempt to bridge the understanding of cinema as "art" and cinema as a tool for activism. Sunanda Bhat's Have You Seen The Arana, Patricio Guzmán's Nostalgia For The Light and Juraj Lehotský's Slepé Lásky (Blind Loves) are some of the more recent examples I have come across. The work of Anand Patwardhan in India, and Frederick Wiseman in the USA has also been key to shaping my understanding of the cinematic medium.