Q&A: Kalpesh Lathigra — Discarded Fruit

04.06.18

Have you recently been living by any life philosophy? Trying to be quiet and listen more and not feeling the need to fill silence with something not worth saying. 
What will baffle future generations about our day and age? The narcissism of the “like” …. I am trying to work out a way of escaping social media and have yet to find an answer. Maybe Racism/ Sexism but humans have a tendency to disappoint on what actually matters so I am not holding out.
 Are you aware of any conspiracies? I think I’ll pass on that one….. What is it that interests you about photography? The emotional resonance when it works and you understand what life is….or at least your version of it. Its poetry, Its ability to slow the obvious ….Its individual nature being able to bring out what the artist is actually feeling……the authorship of each individual, you cannot replicate a feeling.
cWhat is the worst thing about city life? Nothing, I am a city boy born and bred ….probably will die in a city, still upstate New York is alright definitely prefer that to the UK’s countryside which fills me with dread.
 What part of the planet would you like to explore? Japan, Middle East, Mexico. What do you think is the most plausible of the supernatural? Reincarnation. If you had to align yourself with a leader in history, who would it be? Malcolm X / el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz. Pick a field of science to be an expert within. Craniofacial Surgery, I spent time with the team at Chelsea and Westminster hospital many years ago who were part of a charity and saw firsthand the impact of their work. Being in surgery with them was like watching jedi. Non verbal communication but every nuanced expressed, every moment accounted for……every action precise. The kids they helped and lives they actually changed …..that has stayed with me. Diabetes would be another…my boy is type 1 and its there….. What moment have you most wished you’d had a camera when you hadn’t? I don’t know ….I am not really one to dwell on missed moments…..I guess when I have my camera it is because I want it with me…….other than I guess if something happened I always have my phone which can do the job if needs must. 
Choose a job you would be willing to do for free on the side. Boxing – I would quite happily train and spar for free anyday
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Describe the most important photo you’ve seen. Luc Delahaye’s Talban Soldier –“Delahaye said of his photographs that “it is just true that there are beautiful landscapes in Afghanistan where there is also death. To not show this complexity? Reporters in the press see the Afghan landscape but they don’t show it, they are not asked to. All my efforts have been to be as neutral as possible, and to take in as much as possible, and allow an image to return to the mystery of reality.” From an interview with The Real Thing: Photographer Luc Delahaye – by Bill Sullivan. I don’t think I can describe it better than Delahaye ……..other than it stays with me there is no pomp, no magical composition or golden light – it just is. 
How often do you take other people’s advice? Hardly ever…..maybe that’s where I am going right/ wrong….I just try and make my work. Which living person do you most admire? My Father ….classic immigrant story….did good …put up with a lot of shit to make our lives better…..taught me what it is to be a man…human being….right and wrong and of course introduced me to reading good books. On what occasion do you lie? I guess sometimes when I am not enjoying being somewhere and just have to put a brave face on it…..but its becoming rarer I just am getting to that stage in life where I’d rather just be straight and honest than beat about the bush and say a white lie.

What was the last crime you witnessed? Where I live you kinda see all sorts…..
What is the best way to educate yourself? Read, Look , Feel – And talk to a person who you respect, has humility and doesn’t make you feel crap if you don’t know something and who will educate you without asking or wanting something from you.
 What is the next book you want to read? Orhan Pamuk – Istanbul – Memories and The City
. Ultimate camera? Mamiya 7ii . Most used camera? Mamiya 7ii but now also using Pentax 645z
. What object do you want? A pair of RIVAL RS2V-PRO SPARRING GLOVES. What object do you need? A portrait lens for the Pentax 645Z ….maybe a 120 or 200. How would you explain the internet to someone from the 1950’s? Alice in Wonderland. 
Are you satisfied with your level of physical strength? Can do better but not bad. 
Describe a cheap thrill. Drinking a martini or at the very least a Makers Mark on the rocks at any time of the day.! A good pizza in NYC comes a very close second! Pick an historic moment from the last hundred years to bring a camera to. The election of President Obama. Are impulses more important than consequences? Yes….. to live without thinking……thinking about consequences is a hurdle…they can be dealt with one way or another.
 Which talent would you most like to have? To be able to Box like Vasyl Lomachenko
. What is your plan for the next 24 hours? I have a commission to photograph an actor whose work I love ……..some thinking about the work I am making and reading Bombay, Meeri Jaan ( Bombay, My Life)

Kalpesh Lathigra (1971, London, UK) studied at London College of Printing , and lives in London. Lathigra’s work occupies the space between documentary and art. Recent exhibitions include Lost in the Wilderness at Webber Gallery, London, Return to Elsewhere for Photoworks/Brighton Photo Biennial 2014, National Portrait Gallery (UK), PhotoEspana and Noorderlicht. He has been awarded the W.Eugene Smith Fellowship, World Press Photo Award and Lightwork Residency. His first book “ Lost in the Wilderness” is a body of photographs with the Oglala Sioux and the Pine Ridge Reservation was published in 2015.

To see more of Kalpesh Lathigra’s work visit — Website / Instagram.