Whilst still experimenting and honing his skills in photography, Vivek Singh’s day jobs included
journalism and television news production during 2002-04. His career in photography began with
two short stints as staffer with a local newspaper and a magazine in India’s capital, Delhi.
By late 2006, unsettled on home soil, Vivek headed to the country’s remote north-east, a frontier
region comprising seven states known as the “Seven Sisters,” located way out on the edge of the
national map and consciousness, and rarely reported in media, both national and international.
Ever since, Vivek has been photographing and documenting a fascinatingly fragmented jigsaw of
indigenous peoples in one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse regions of Asia, where
cultures and facial features have more in common with Burma and Tibet than with mainstream
India, and, where armed conflicts are the norm with 26 active armed groups in five of the seven
While extensively capturing the unchanged rhythms of spasmodic bloodshed and displacement
among the many ethno-linguistic groups that jostled – often violently – to assert themselves amid
growing insecurities relating to land and demographics, Vivek turned the focus on western Assam
where the fight is between indigenous Bodo tribesmen and Bengali-speaking Muslims who have
been moving into the area for more than a century, anxious to establish private-property rights as
protection against dispossession, bringing them into conflict with the tribe that holds land in
Recognition for this work came with The Manuel Rivera Grant for documentary Photography in
2013, allowing Vivek to continue his work in western Assam. The images were presented
alongside the prestigious photography festival Les Recontres D'Arles at Galerie Huit in July 2014.
Vivek took time off from the north-east in 2012-13 to work in Melghat for The Caravan, India’s
only magazine dedicated to narrative journalism. The departure from conflict ridden north-east to
reporting a peaceful tribe largely ignored in the very heart of India was enriching and revealing. The mutual bond between the photographer and writer working together on and off for a year produced images and text that complement each other in bringing out the complexities of the ancient Korkus and the unique landscape they inhabit.
Alongside, Vivek works on regular editorial commissions, contributing regularly to clients including, The Wall Street Journal, California Sunday Magazine, The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, Columbia Journalism Review, Los Angeles Times, Al Jazeera, Der Spiegel, Fortune Magazine US, Buzzfeed News (US), The New York Times(India Ink-Blog), The Globe and Mail (Report On Business Magazine), Fast Company Magazine, CNN and Turner, Bill and Melinda gates Foundation and The Caravan Magazine(India).
Most notable among his recent work was for CNN.com about a rape survivor from a tribe in the
western Indian state of Maharashtra, whose landmark case had awakened India decades before the recent outrage over a rape in its capital Delhi, and for The Caravan on a maverick Baptist pastor’s fight against HIV/AIDS in the hills of Nagaland, bordering Burma.
He has done a variety of assignments from drug resistant tuberculosis in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh for The Wall Street Journal, to honour killings in Haryana for Der Spiegel and gun
pellet blindings in Kashmir for The New York Times' India Ink.
Vivek is based in Delhi, India's National Capital Region.