Interview with Susana Carpintero, author of the book “Bombay desde sus ojos”

 In Educación, Education, Uncategorized, Voluntariado, Volunteer

As you know, “Bombay desde sus ojos” is the editorial novelty of Mumbai Smiles this year. And like every year, Mumbai Smiles will be there in different parts of Catalonia on Sant Jordi’s Day. At our stands you can purchase this book, which is also now on sale in our online store. So today we want you to get to know a little more about the author of this book of photographs: Susana Carpintero, in this interview.

How did your connection with Bombay Smiles begin?

Well, it was fate itself that decided it. In 2019 I traveled to Mumbai to do a report on “the influence of Bollywood on Mumbai”. On my birthday, a Mumbai friend took me to a restaurant and don’t you know who was behind me? Jaume Sanllorente! Speaking Catalan, that’s why it caught my attention! To tell you the truth… it sounded familiar to me, but I couldn’t quite place it. In the end we introduced ourselves and he invited me to visit the projects you have in Mumbai in the most vulnerable areas, and seeing all that reality with my eyes…I did not hesitate for a moment to start collaborating for photography with you.

How did the idea of conducting a photography workshop for the boys and girls of Mumbai came up?

After returning to Barcelona I had the idea of taking this relationship a step further. I wanted these children, most of them were victims of human trafficking or potential victims of it, to have the opportunity to capture their reality through cameras, to allow them freedom and to have a good time doing it, to be able to play with camera. A workshop, a photography game, in exchange for a few moments of happiness.

Tell us what those three days of workshop were like, how the children reacted when handling a camera for the first time.

They were very emotional, they were happy and euphoric, it was their first time to hold the camera in their hands. There was a very special moment that I have etched in my memory. A 9-year-old girl suddenly started crying. I asked her what was wrong with her, and if she was okay. She told me that she was emotional, and was thankful for teaching them how to photograph and giving them this opportunity. Right now, remembering this moment, it gives me goosebumps.

They are those moments when you realize that it costs very little to give happiness, but you have to give it and be more human in this world and see the result. The smile of a child, a vulnerable little person.

They took photos of their own homes, their neighbours’ and you can see the result, which is happiness through these photos. I also really liked that they focused on the animals, which in the end was a topic that we added to the book because I fell in love with the same images and they deserved to have another section. I was guiding them regarding lighting, composition, etc. But that subjective view was entirely theirs.

How do you rate the result of the book, what was the process of selecting the best photos like?

The result of the book is fantastic, due to the format, the hard cover, the design and the potential of the photos. Thanks to Mumbai Smiles for accepting my project and seeing the reality that you work on every day, to Canon Spain for the cameras, since without cameras there are no photos, to the Gómez Aparicio Graphic Group for the printing of the project, because without printing there is no book and it would be an orphan project. And to the Philippine Islands Institute for the layout, because without a good layout, the images lose potential.

I am very satisfied and very happy, especially because it is a solidarity project, where all profits go to the fight against human trafficking in Asia and Europe and that is the greatest satisfaction I can have as a humanitarian photographer.

The selection process was difficult, there were many hours at night browsing through thousands of photos, selecting them by theme, choosing opening covers for each section, discarding images, rescuing some image that I had already discarded, and that I see fit into the edition. , post-production, etc. Almost a year of work and right now I can say that it is a satisfaction.

You have visited the Mumbai Smiles projects several times. What do you value the most about the work we do?

What I value the most and summarizing it in one sentence: that you can change a person’s dark life into a life full of light, life, education,  possibilities and full of the most basic things that any person really deserves in this world. I say thank you from the bottom of my heart to be what you are and for doing what you are doing.


Thanks to you, Susana, for this wonderful project that has become a book and that reflects real moments of small people who are not small people but are full of life, enthusiasm. “Bombay desde sus ojos”, 84 pages, is now on sale in our online store. The proceeds from the sale of the book go entirely to our projects to combat human trafficking in Asia and Europe.



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