Dalda 13 – A Portrait of Homai Vyarawalla
by Monika Baker
“I was born in 1913, I met my husband when I was 13. The number thirteen has always been significant in my life.”
Homai Vyarawalla – photographer, is a simple statement of fact, but this indomitable Indian woman is more a pioneer in the field of documentary photography. She began taking photographs in the 1930’s with her husband and went on to become one of the most original and prolific practitioners of day.
Homai’s body of work spans more than three decades in the birth of the “young India’ and she is responsible for some of the key images through which the period is framed. From the assassination of Gandhi through to the optimism of independence, Homai’s unique interpretation goes beyond documentation to represent the spirit of the times.
In Dalda 13, Homai Vyarawalla narrates the stories behind these images and gives a fascinating account of her extraordinary life. The film further explores the relevance of the work today and why Homai Vyarawalla is a vital, yet unrecognised contributor to the international genre of documentary photography.
Director: Monika Baker
Camera: Rajesh Bedi / Arun Sethi
Sound: PD Valson / Asheesh Pandya
Editor: Robyn Wright
Original music: Ashim Ghosh
Photographic historian: Satish Sharma
Filmed with kind permission of Mrs Homai Vyarawalla
An eMBe production for the Arts Council of England.
© eMBe Productions MCMXCV
End Credit music “Graces of India” by CineMedia