Souvid Datta, an award-winning photojournalist, has been exposed as a fraud and plagiarizer after he submitted a photo of a girl being raped to a contest held by LensCulture. Following immense public backlash, the magazine took down the photo, but the harm was already done and Datta became the center of attention, and not in the way he hoped for.
He Submitted the Picture for an Online Contest
On April 28, LensCulture published on its official website a bunch of photographs as part of an online competition in partnership with Magnum Photos. For $60, amateur and professional photographers alike had the opportunity of entering 10 original pictures in the contest. Among a selection of beautiful and inspiring shots, one stood out like a shark in a coy fish lake.
Souvid Datta, an award-winning photojournalist, decided to share with the public a disturbing photo of a girl being raped, or, as he later claimed, posing as if she was being sexually abused. There were so many things wrong with the photo in question that a plethora of organizations, including UNICEF, urged LensCulture to take down the image, accusing Datta of not abiding by the law.
LensCulture Initially Supported the Photographer
According to UNICEF’s ethical guidelines, reporters or photojournalists are not allowed to reveal the identity of a minor. Especially in cases when the image or images could bring attention or harm the child in any way. Seeing as the photo depicted a 16-year-old girl laying on her back, looking at the camera while a naked man was abusing her in one of Kolkata’s red-light districts, UNICEF was enraged.
“Always change the name and obscure the visual identity of any child who is identified as a victim of sexual abuse or exploitation,” the Agency wrote.
Apart from the blatant violation of a basic human right, Datta was also guilty of spreading a stereotypical view on poorer Asian countries. His image suggested that underage sex workers and rape were a casual part of life in Kolkata.
At first, LensCulture defended the photojournalist, assuring the public that he took the pictures “with great ethical care.” Then, as proof of Datta’s lack of professionalism continued surfacing, the magazine quickly shifted its position, condemning his “lack of ethical standards.” Now justice was served, and a man who received numerous prestigious awards for plagiarized photographs is receiving the treatment he deserves after he dared to submit a photo of a girl being raped to an online contest.
Image Source: Pixabay