Images showing swanky high-rises standing in the middle of sprawling shanties and makeshift establishments in Mumbai are nothing new. The stark reality about inequality has always been a slap in the face of modern, urban India. Many photographers, through their lenses, were innovative enough to capture the clear demarcation between the rich and poor in a divided city. Especially around the Bandra-Kurla-Complex, this is quite evident. The Mithi river divides the Bandra-Kurla complex and the Dharavi slum – this shows the gap between extreme wealth and extreme poverty. A “world-class city”, as they say, Mumbai is an urban eyrie for the superrich but has little for those without means. It is a city of contradictions.
American photographer Johnny Miller’s project using drones to portray the most unequal scenes in the world highlight the socio-economic discrepancies, looking straight down from a top of several hundred metres, provides a new perspective to the old problem. He gives visual representation to the issues of disenfranchisement in the world – apart from Mumbai and other parts of India, the project is on in South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, the US and Mexico. The visuals he captures could be of a road or a wetland or an urban cul-de-sac; the aerial view shows the disparity. It sends an extremely powerful message. A picture truly is worth a thousand words.