The Foto Awards presented by Las Fotos Project: Smita Sharma in Conversation with Anna Grevenitis - LENSCRATCH

This week we are celebrating a wonderful organization in Los Angeles: the Las Fotos Project and The Foto Awards event taking place on October 23, 2021. Today we celebrate the Advocacy Award Winner (adult), Smita Sharma.  The Advocacy Award is given for po

Smita Sharma is an award winning photojournalist and visual storyteller based in Delhi, reporting on critical human rights, gender and social issues in her own community as well as in the Global South on assignments for Human Rights Watch, National Geographic Magazine, and other publications.

Telling Stories of Domestic Slavery in India

Smita Sharma, a photojournalist, has been documenting survivors of trafficking and their families in Dooars, India.

The lush floodplains of Dooars, India, appear to go on forever. Nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, the green is so vibrant it is all consuming. But beyond the riverbeds, in an area once known for its bustling tea gardens, Dooars’s dirt roads can be perilous. They are barely proper roads, and the commute to school by foot is long and dangerous, making girls easy targets for attackers and traffickers. “They’re like fishermen waiting for the bait,” said Smita Sharma, a photojournalist documenting survivors and their families.

Documenting Rape in India

When Smita Sharma photographs rape victims who have been shunned and ostracized in India, she connects with them by sharing her own story of sexual assault.

At night, vivid memories of sexual abuse haunt Smita Sharma’s dreams. During the day, they motivate her to document the stories of rape victims in India.