Based out of: Bangalore, India





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I don’t try to fool myself that the stories of individuals are themselves arguments. I just believe that better arguments, maybe even better policies, get formulated when we know more about ordinary lives.
— Katherine Boo

Arati Kumar-Rao is an independent environmental photographer, writer, and artist documenting the slow violence* of ecological degradation.

Wars make headlines. But the slow violence inflicted on communities by environmental degradation and climate change, which is neither spectacular nor explosive, remains invisible and unreported.

It unfolds over temporal scales, its true implication manifesting over several generations. There is one such silent un-monitored crisis billowing across South Asia, and it has to do with freshwater and migration forced by environmental degradation.

In this there is no measuring with time, a year doesn’t matter, and ten years are nothing.
— Rainer Maria Rilke said this of art and it is true also of telling the stories of landscapes.

Thus, Arati criss-crosses the sub-continent following a single story, sometimes across seasons, sometimes over years, in order to document South Asia’s changing landscapes and livelihoods.

She communicates through photos, longform narratives, and art and is currently working on her first book.

Her work has appeared in, The Hindu, #Dysturb, The Guardian, BBC Outside Source, Hindustan Times, Mint, National Geographic Traveler India, Yahoo! Media,, Quartz, and other Indian and international outlets..

Arati contributes to @EverydayClimateChange and @EverydayExtinction on Instagram and has been exhibited in India and internationally.

She was awarded a National Geographic Explorer grant in November 2018 to document forced human migration.

*Slow Violence and The Environmentalism Of The Poor