Danish Siddiqui (1983–2021)

Skye Arundhati Thomas at Artforum:

“No one who saw the photo thought I would survive,” said Mohammad Zubair, describing an image, taken by Siddiqui, which came to define last year’s anti-Muslim pogrom in New Delhi. Zubair was beaten by a mob of Hindu men, many wearing bike helmets. “It was like a war zone,” Siddiqui said, recounting how he had walked over the rubble of broken bricks and batons. He stood about a yard away from the group, his mask flecked with Zubair’s blood. He was spotted, and the attackers paused, looking right at his camera. Siddiqui fled just as Zubair lost consciousness. A group of young Muslim boys found Zubair and asked the neighborhood doctor to perform emergency stitches on his head wounds. Siddiqui looked for him later, relieved to find him alive in a local hospital. He made a portrait against the pale blue wall of the intensive treatment wing, Zubair’s head wrapped in gauze, eyes bruised and swollen. Siddiqui often said that he photographed “the human face of a breaking story.”

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