Dalits – 200 million people, or one fifth of the Indian population – face physical and symbolic discrimination based on caste daily. It is believed that Dalits are born ‘impure’ and, therefore, are designed to do ‘unclean’ work like manual scavenging, burying the dead, handling dead animals, and alike. In spite of existing laws and quotas for the protection of the physical and social security of Dalits, most still live live in poverty.

The photodocumentary shows how Dalits struggle for their daily survival and try to meet with the new requirements of a globalizing and urbanizing society. It portrays men and women in their attempt to improve their living conditions and escape the pitfalls of explicit and inexplicit discrimination. A special emphasis lays on the work of various Dalit and human rights organisations fighting for the rights of Dalits.

The material was collected in spring 2004 during a three-month stay in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat, working intensively together with Dalit and human rights activists.

As a part of the Dalit lives project, we made a travelling exhibition about Dalits for the international campaign of Dalit Network Netherlands (DNN). The inauguration was in May 2005 at the International Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, and the exhibition travelled many years to locations in the Netherlands and abroad.

  • Leven als Dalit - 'Kastelozen' in hedendaags India / Dalit Lives - 'Outcastes' in contemporary India. Slowdocs Publishers/Titojoe documentaries 2005. ISBN 90-809375-1-7.
  • 'Dalit-Leben, Erfahrungen von Kastelosen in Indien', Kommune, Forum für Politik, Ökonomie, Kultur , 2/05, 28-31
  • Dalit Lives, foto8 book review , Sophie Wright, 19-12-2007
  • A woman apart, Titojoe Documentaries / Cordaid 2005. ISBN 90-809375-2-9 (DVD). Short documentary film.


    In collaboration with: CordAid, Dalit Network Netherlands, India Committee of the Netherlands
    Financial support by:
    Special thanks to: Martin Macwan / IAS; Jan Glissenaar / Vereniging Wederzijds; Paul Divakar, Sudhakar David / NCDHR; S.D.J.M. Prasad / SAKSHI;Vara Kumary, D. Prasad / DAS;
    error: Content is protected !!