Ketaki Sheth

Ketaki Sheth (b. 1957) is an Indian photographer and author based in Mumbai. 

After gaining her undergraduate degree in English Literature at Elphinstone College, Ketaki was awarded a scholarship from the Department of Communication Arts at Cornell University, New York. She graduated with an MA in Communication Arts in 1980.

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Ketaki’s work maintains a strong focus on people within their everyday environment. Using a documentary style replete with responsive awareness, Ketaki captures the reality of her surroundings with characteristic empathy. 

Ketaki began taking pictures of her city in the late 1980s, under the guidance of renowned photographer Raghubir Singh. She has also spent several years visiting Sidi villages across small areas of western India, taking portraits of daily life. 

According to Georgia Atienza, the Sidi are ‘the descendents of African slave-soldiers, traders and Muslim pilgrims who migrated to India in successive waves between the 9th and 16th centuries. Their languages, cuisine and clothes are Indian but they have maintained a connection with their African roots in the form of musical instruments, dances and aspects of religious practice.’

Building a unique rapport with the close knit Sidi community, Ketaki created a rich portfolio of square format, black and white photography which sensitively documents the narrative of the community. Published in 2013 by PHOTOINK, A Certain Grace: The Sidi, Indians of African Descent exemplifies Ketaki’s long-standing interest in questions of identity and representation. 

Ketaki has been the recipient of numerous accolades including The Sanskriti Award for Indian Photography in New Delhi (2003) and the Higashikawa Award (Japan, 2006).

Katy Grannan

Kourtney Roy