Art Exhibit of India’s Air Pollution Will Leave You Breathless
June 17, 2019
When air pollution in India has reached unprecedented levels, photos of everyday life in the air emergency will truly leave you breathless. To bring attention the daily experiences of those living through this air pollution, Help Delhi Breathe and the Clean Air Collective launched a photo exhibition “Breathless – Documenting India’s Air Emergency.”
The exhibit captured the stories of the people who are the most impacted by air pollution and are fighting it everyday, using art and culture to present it to people who may not see the daily effects. It also included virtual reality, 360 degree videos on air pollution, postcards to government authorities and policymakers asking them to act against air pollution, and even boards to sign using pens made out of the pollutants that would be in air pollution.
The exhibition covered stories from 6 cities – including busy metros like Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai and the lesser known places like Korba, Ennore and Punjab.
The photos, taken by photographer Ishan Tankha, were accompanied by stories that were researched and written by award-winning journalist Aruna Chandrasekhar. The photos and stories helped to take air pollution past data and science, to humanize the issue, see the impact, and drive people to engage.
What does life look like in the most polluted cities? Our teammates in Delhi put together a photo exhibit called "Breathless" – highlighting the impact of #airpollution and #climatechange through stories and photos. 💨 Learn more in this @VICE feature: https://t.co/YX68gmt3Hu
— Purpose (@Purpose) June 14, 2019
Visit #Breathless this weekend, if you haven't already. An eye opening documentation of how air pollution is impacting the lives of millions in India with photographs by @ishantankha and stories by @aruna_sekhar. #MyRightToBreathehttps://t.co/GlVSM7cFVM
— HelpDelhiBreathe (@DelhiBreathe) June 8, 2019
Breathless: India’s air pollution problem has been documented in a timely, extensive project – Firstpost https://t.co/mDQnVeL1Ws
— Dr Maria Neira (@DrMariaNeira) June 12, 2019
The exhibition was launched on World Environment Day with an event and a great showing, including several journalists and media houses. With a mix of politicians, health experts, a musician, a journalist, an air pollution cancer survivor, and representation from the sanitation union of Delhi in attendance, the exhibit reached an array of diverse audiences and opened doors to initiate discussions about different solutions for air pollution. The collective arranged two walkthroughs of the exhibit – one for 20 underprivileged kids who live under a flyover in Delhi and the other for safai sena (sanitation union) members.
Help Delhi Breathe reached over 910,408 people through on posts about Breathless alone. Conversations using #Breathless and #MyRightToBreathe on Twitter reached over 707.7K people, received over 4.9M Impressions and got over 836 Twitter Mentions from 315 users.
After this successful launch, the campaign is now looking to organize the exhibition in other cities to spread the word about the lived experience of being in a community experiencing an air emergency.