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Ayaz Ahmed

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Saadiya Kochar takes to the streets of India for universal brotherhood
Photographer and solo traveler Saadiya Kochar drove over 12,400 kms, crossing through 18 states and spreading the message of universal brotherhood. All along taking photographs of people with a map of India, depicting all the religious identities.

Saadiya Kochar, 8/12/2017 - A 38 year old, New Delhi based fine art photographer-Saadiya Kochar spent 54 days on a solo trip through the country engaging with people from various cultural backgrounds.

In the Northern side she covered all the states, even driving to the troubled state of Jammu and Kashmir. In Srinagar, where she has worked for many years, she engaged with the local population. A few of them wrote messages from the Quran and stuck them on her XUV500 as did people from each state she stayed at.

‘The drive, the engagement with the viewer, the act of creating the photograph and then getting people to write messages and sticking it on the car make this journey seem like performative art. We have made so many boundaries based on religion, gender and nation. The idea was to not only talk about Universal brotherhood but women's safety and equality’, says the photographer who has always had a rebellious streak.

At 24, Saadiya published a book on nudes and then spent a decade working in Kashmir, where she made a documentary on the Public Safety Act and the Exodus of The Kashmiri Pandits.

Kochar went through the coastal route, covering the Northern, Western, Southern and Eastern corridors of the country. Soon she will cover Madhya Pradesh and over the course of the year the remaining states and union territories.


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