Toxification

April 11, 2015 § Leave a comment

I’m working on a documentary called Toxification, in collaboration with filmmaker friend Leva Kwestany and producer J.U. Rhodian. It’s our first time working together, and my first overseas film. We filmed for three weeks, and I’ve never felt more in my element.

India’s prosperous Green Revolution was led by Punjab, a state in northern India famous for its lush rice fields and wet, fertile soil. But as farmers are conned into buying more and more pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers that they don’t need, which demand often ten times more water, the water table is sinking at an alarming rate. Punjab’s water has been poisoned by the chemicals, and the famers poison their bodies with opium, helping them to work longer and harder. Loans from a middleman are taken out, with extortionate interest rates that are impossible to pay back. As a result, hundreds of Punjabi families are left without a father, husband or son as more and more farmers cave in under the pressure and drink their own chemicals to end their lives.

 

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I took some portraits, too:

 

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see more at http://www.rehmatrayatt.com/toxification

#lohriforher

January 13, 2014 § 2 Comments

Today is Lohri, a Punjabi celebration. Lighting a fire and waving phallic vegetables around it; forget what Wikipedia tells you about it being a celebration of winter solstice. Lohri is a time to celebrate your sons. Having a son is probably the greatest achievement in the wider Indian culture; if you manage it, you’ve basically succeeded in life. This brilliantly ludicrous attitude has caused the lowest ratio of females to males in India since records began.

Well, screw you, Lohri. We’re turning you on your head. We’re celebrating Lohri for my beautiful niece, Siyaan. She deserves to be celebrated just as much as any other child. For how can we expect our girls to prosper if we stunt their growth from the beginning?

We’re celebrating life. Real, meaningful life, not just how many sons you have.  We’re celebrating Indian men and women making their mark on careers, travel, family, friends, hobbies, food, art.

Happy Lohri! Join us and celebrate Lohri for your daughters as well as sons.

#lohriforher

Divali

November 14, 2012 § Leave a comment

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