Photojournalist discusses time in India

Photojournalist Barry Pell shows and explains the beauty of the Taj Mahal in India during his lecture at the Westwood Library.

By Robby McKittrick
Hometown Weekly Reporter

On Tuesday, October 23, the Westwood Library and the Council of Aging hosted a lecture by photojournalist Barry Pell about his experience traveling in India.

Pell visited India for 5 months on two different occasions, capturing many different pictures of the people, landscape, and culture. During the talk, Pell showed and explained his experience abroad, as well as detailing India’s past historical, political, and religious landscape.

“India encompasses such an enormous span of history,” Pell said during the talk. “There is so much diversity about this country … India is a land of a unique travel destination, and of a place I will never forget.”

One of the highlights of Pell’s travels to India was seeing the Taj Mahal.

“Taj Mahal is one of the top sights I have seen in the world,” he told the audience while showing a picture of the structure on his slideshow.

Photojournalist Barry Pell describes his time in India to an audience at the Westwood Library.

Photojournalist Barry Pell describes his time in India to an audience at the Westwood Library.

There were around 25 community members present for the talk, and all of them were interested in learning about India and its history.

“I love traveling and I’m interested in other cultures,” said Helen Bonaceto, a woman in attendance. Bonaceto has traveled to a variety of places herself, such as Switzerland and Austria, but “would love to go to India, too.”

“I want to find out what the status quo is over there - what their political situation is and how the people are feeling at this point,” explained Bonaceto.

“I didn’t know much about India, so I wanted to learn a little bit more [and] educate myself,” explained Jean Lemielemieux, who was also in attendance.

Pell has traveled to over 167 different countries over his 25 years as a photojournalist, and he holds a variety of talks on many of these places. Pell explained why he has worked as a travel photojournalist his whole career.

Westwood residents show up to the Library to listen to Photojournalist Barry Pell describe his experience in India.

Westwood residents show up to the Library to listen to Photojournalist Barry Pell describe his experience in India.

“I love the people,” he said. “I really enjoy meeting different cultures and different people when I travel and understanding how they live, how similar we are, what’s different from life in the United States, and getting to understand them, their politics, [and] their approach to life.”

Pell further explained why he enjoys taking photographs.

“As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words,” he said. “I think the combination of my writing and my talks, with the photos to support [the information], gives a pretty good sense [of the country]. And people enjoy seeing pictures of places when they have a talk about it.”

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