Since grabbing our attention as a LensCulture Emerging Talent in 2014 (at the age of 24), photojournalist and visual storyteller Souvid Datta hasn’t slowed down one bit. The past few years have seen him travel all over the world—with a particular focus on south and east Asia—where he worked on independent projects as well as stories for major media outlets like the Guardian.

Below, our second video interview with Datta about his work and his advice for emerging photojournalists. Have a look—

If you like this video interview, don’t miss the first conversation we shot with Datta a few years back. Below, we’ve also included an edited selection from Datta’s ongoing project “India’s Coal Rush.”

Here’s what Datta had to say about the project:

Jharia lies at the heart of India’s largest coal-belt, in the north-eastern state of Jharkhand. The area produces the country’s highest-quality coal, needed to make steel and thermo-electric plants. Yet the vast opencast mines lie on top of underground fires that have burnt for over a century.

Recent state-led mining expansions have provoked these flames, causing over 70 open fires to erupt along the earth’s surface, spewing noxious gas and destroying the land. Those hardest hit are the local villagers forced to endure noxious, even deadly, air.

This is the story of a poverty-stricken and forgotten people governed by coal and at the mercy of corporations—the dirty end of India’s development and energy business.


Editors’ Note: Datta, as he does in much of his work, mixes still photographs with videography as well. If you are curious to learn more about this project, check out his 14-minute documentary: