I’m a European photographer and want to share my unpleasant experience with Manik Katyal.

Last year he approached me on Facebook just wanting to seek a collaboration with me. The conversation quickly turn very friendly, his tone was a bit too friendly, sprinkling his conversation with some ‘baby’ and ‘darling’ – at this point I assumed it was like that at this level of the profession. He then asked me for my number to be able to communicate through ‘what’s app’. It is from this moment that his way of communicating became totally inappropriate. From sexual propositions to graphically describing sexual acts, his vocabulary was very trashy and raw. He also quickly propose to have skype sessions, which I refused. Manik has definitely an issue concerning his vision of women and sex, but he has also an issue with authority, I have been told by him ‘who are you to talk to me like that’, he admitted being under the influence of alcohol and weed but I could sense that it was his vision of his ‘place’ in the photographic world. He then blocked me from Facebook because it was not going the way he wanted. At the same time I was learning that he had approached in the same way other of my female photographer friends but they quickly send him off. He is not the only photographer or editor who was more interested by seeing flesh than photographs and not be the last. We should not let the pseudo or real status/influence of a man taking over basic rules of respect. Of course we should not be impressed by any professional status at the point to let someone crossing the limits of decency. But first of all, men of this profession have the right to comment or appreciate only our creative production. Too many allow themselves to cross limits with which you have to be ok because otherwise ‘you are not cool’…

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