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Unveiling the Erosion of Ethical Photojournalism: Prashant Panjiar Advocates for Creative Freedom Amidst AI Onslaught

Panjiar's presentation, titled 'The Lens Based Practices,' delved into the inhibiting impact of censorship driven by a growing aversion to certain subject portrayals, restricting the freedom of expression in public spaces. He expressed apprehension about the shrinking room for critical work, emphasizing the need for self-censorship in a climate where people easily take offense.
Censorship of Art
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In a recent discourse at the Museum of Goa’s MOG Sundays talk, esteemed independent photographer and curator, Prashant Panjiar, illuminated the pressing challenges faced by the field of photojournalism in India, particularly in Goa. Panjiar underscored the escalating intolerance towards diverse creative expressions and the encroachment of artificially generated images, contending that these factors are propelling a concerning decline in ethical photojournalism.

Panjiar’s presentation, titled ‘The Lens Based Practices,’ delved into the inhibiting impact of censorship driven by a growing aversion to certain subject portrayals, restricting the freedom of expression in public spaces. He expressed apprehension about the shrinking room for critical work, emphasizing the need for self-censorship in a climate where people easily take offense.

While acknowledging the potential bleakness in the future of photojournalism in Goa due to diminishing job opportunities and the waning influence of print media, Panjiar provided insights for aspiring photographers and photojournalists to safeguard the integrity of their craft. He stressed the importance of compassion, urging practitioners to empathize with their subjects to avoid exploitation, and highlighted the role of anticipation, born out of experience, in capturing compelling shots and stories.

In the era of pervasive artificial intelligence, Panjiar recommended a collaborative approach for photographers, suggesting the inclusion of disclaimers whenever AI is involved in generating or altering images to maintain credibility.

Additionally, Panjiar advocated for a shift in industry terminology, proposing a departure from saying ‘take’ a photograph to ‘make’ a photograph, emphasizing the creation process over the potentially exploitative connotations of the former.

With a rich background as a photographer and photo editor for prominent publications such as India Today and the Patriot, coupled with his experience as a curator for major festivals like the Serendipity Arts Festival (SAF), Panjiar’s unique perspective blends practical photography skills with curatorial acumen.

In a bid to foster a creative community in Goa, Panjiar, through initiatives like the Goa Open Arts Festival, aims to provide local artists and photographers with opportunities to showcase their work. As he navigates the intersection of photography and curation, Panjiar remains committed to promoting critical thinking and creative expression in the face of evolving challenges.

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