Smita Sharma is an independent photojournalist based in Delhi, Kolkata and New York. Her work primarily focusses on gender violence and human rights issues.
Her work has been published in various international publications including CNN, The Washington Post, New York Times, BBC, TIME Lightbox, The Globe and Mail, Spiegel, Channel 4, Quartz, Caravan Magazine, Newsweek, Human Rights Watch among others. Her work has been screened and exhibited in various countries including USA, India, Cambodia, Myanmar, South Korea, France, UK and Saudi Arabia.
Her long term project on sexual violence and rape in India called “Not My Shame” was shown during CSW-59 and CSW-61 at the UN Headquarters in New York.
She is the recipient of The Washington Post Award at the Eddie Adams Workshop in 2013, National Silver and PVCHR Bronze medal for “Protection of Human Rights” at Rex Conclave, Delhi in 2015. In 2016 and 2017, she was named the finalist for outstanding photography and reporting by the South Asian Journalists Association (SAJA), New York.
She was awarded "Indian Of The Year" in 2017, for her contribution in the field of journalism by Brands Academy, Delhi.
In 2016, Smita organised a bicycle campaign “Wheels of Change” along with non-profit PVCHR in Varanasi and donated bicycles to abuse survivors who were assaulted on their commute to school. The campaign was a way to de-stigmatise and reintegrate the girls in their communities and help them to continue their education.
Since 2016, Smita has been working on a project on human trafficking in South Asia where she is documenting the flesh trade, domestic slavery and how it operates in the region.
Smita graduated in photojournalism and documentary photography from the International Center of Photography, New York in 2013 and has a post graduate diploma in Journalism from University of Pune. Born and raised in Shillong City, India, she has lived and travelled in widely in Asia, Africa and USA.
Exhibitions, Talks and Awards:
Co-curator - "Women in Photography" screening at Obscura Photo festival, Penang, Malaysia
Presenter - Not My Shame at Open Show New York at Videology Bar, New York, April 2017.
Conducted skill lab on "Using photography for Social Justice" during Youth CSW at UN Headquarters, New York, March 2017.
Not My Shame - Exhibition and talk at CSW organised by Safty at UN Women Headquarters, New York, March 2017.
Not My Shame - Exhibition at Serendipity Arts Festival, Goa, India, December 2016.
Not My Shame - Exhibition at Indian Photo Festival, Hyderabad, India, October 2016.
Presenter - Not My Shame at Chennai Photo Biennale, Chennai, India, March 2016.
Speaker - Chennai Photo Biennale’s all-women symposium Beyond Boundaries, Chennai, India, March 2016.
Unearthed: Stories of Courage in the face of Sexual Violence in India - Exhibition at India Habitat Center, New Delhi, India, Dec 2015.
Unearthed: Stories of Courage in the face of Sexual Violence in India - Exhibition at Church Center, United Nations, New York, March 2015.
National Silver medal for Protection of Human Rights by Rex Foundation, Delhi 2015.
PVCHR Bronze medal for Protection of Human Rights by Rex Foundation, Delhi 2015.
Chronicles of Courage-Stories of Rape and Sexual Violence in India : Solo exhibition as part of the TEDx Conference held at Yanbu City, Saudi Arabia, Feb 2015.
Speaker - Women photographers explore gender issues - Screening and Talk, Yangon Photo Festival, Feb 2015
Doggie Divas - Exhibited at The Yangon Photo Festival, Yangon, Myanmar Feb 2015.
Doggie Divas - Screened at The Angkor Photo Festival, Siem Reap – Cambodia, Dec 2014.
Speaker - International Conference on Broadcasting Media & Film Industry, Baltimore, USA, Oct. 2014.
Doggie Divas - Screened at Visa pour l"Image, Perpignan, France, Sep 2014.
Streetscapes - Group exhibition supported by The Royal Photographic Society, UK.
Women in Asia - Participant in group exhibition at the Jeonju International Photo Festival, South Korea, May 2014.
Presenter at the 'Shoot4Minutes' event organised by 'Shoot 4 Change', held at Soho Photo Gallery, New York.
“Doggie Divas” included in the book “New York Edited”, published by Ostkreuzschule für Fotografie in Berlin, Germany.
Presenter at Open Show New York at The Bronx Documentary Center, New York, November 2013.
Recipient of ‘New York City Newstrain’ diversity scholarship organized by APME (Associated Press Media Editors), AP, New York, June 2013.
Participated in group exhibition ‘The View From Here’ at the Rita K. Hillman Education Gallery, International Center of Photography, New York, June 2013.
Recipient of 2013 George and Joyce Moss Scholarship for documentary photography, New York.
'The God Makers' - A Video Documentary on the idol makers of Kolkata, India. Researched, directed and co-edited for ABP
'Crossbreed' - A Video Documentary on the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). Scripted, co-directed and co-edited.
One Year Documentary Photography and Photojournalism program, International Center of Photography, New York.
Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism and Communication, Pune University, Pune, India
Bachelors in Mass Communication and Video Production, North Eastern Hill University, Shillong, India