The Promise of Engineering in India
The Promise of Engineering in India stems from a personal experience of undergoing an engineering education and later working in the Indian tech industry. The project seeks to raise questions about the country’s all-consuming passion for engineering education – a rigorous and highly technical course lasting four years that demands high levels of competence in both theory and practice. The branch of knowledge is studied by millions of hopeful young Indians every year.
Many of these aspiring engineers choose the subject for the prospect of securing employment at the end of the course. A great number end up on the course due to the absence of a better option – does our society fail young people by not providing them with enough resources, options or courage to make more educated decisions about study and career options? The promise of engineering is that of a happy-ever-after, of a secure future in a socially valued and well-paid job. But many fail to make the grade, and the myth of the promise has resulted in a class of unhappy engineers. The charm of income and status lasts for some time but sooner or later, the factors determining true satisfaction such as interesting work, personal growth, and recognition takes over. Characterised as the quarter-life crisis, the phenomenon that many millennials are facing, they find themselves stuck in a proverbial rut, trapped and feel a sense of powerlessness while constantly expected to lead a fulfilling life.
The body of work consists of a series of portraits of engineers in their mid to late 20s, a collective representation of a generation in a state of transition. The images portray each individual returning from work, at the threshold of their home.