Sunday, November 16, 2014

Young Student + Enlightenment, Humana People to People India, Banganga, Rajasthan, India, December of 2013


This young girl's face is the face that changed my mind regarding one of the schools reopened last year. On my visits to her village late last year, it seemed quite a challenge to get the girls together in order to document their stories. The teacher and her family had always been very dear to me, but something had changed over the years. They were still very fond of me, and likewise from my end. However the dynamic between the teacher's family and that of her sister's family had changed, leading to some tension almost invisible to someone like myself, someone from the outside.

This resulted in the teacher doing less than the usual to get the students together during my visits. During one such visit which also happened to be my last, we arrived early in the morning to find nobody organized, and the teacher reacting less than enthusiastically to our vision. This, in addition to the previous experiences, brought great disappointment to me, made me question my desire to help reopen the school in this village, one of my favorites in Rajasthan.

The teacher saw clearly my disappointment and realized that perhaps our relationship was slipping away as we walked back to the van. Something changed in her immediately. It was at this moment that she asked her daughters to collect the younger girls and bring them to her home. They did as their mother asked and the younger students were gathered in their school uniforms. This young girl was one of the students standing in front of me that cool morning, pure innocence and absolute love, while the teacher asked me to go back to her home.

For the sake of these beautiful girls, I put my stuff down and took the time to photograph them. This portrait was from that very morning, and helped us move forward almost immediately.

We of course spoke very little of each other's language and the teacher decided to call the leader at Humana for help. He was located in Jaipur but took the time to listen to each of us and provide us with his guidance in order for the school to be reopened according to plan. While our relationship had changed dramatically last year, it is perhaps even stronger now… or at least clearer.

I look forward to seeing this young girl in March, and to learning that the school had made a difference in her life. This alone would make up for the troubles described above, and a dozen more indeed.

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Note: This image was made with a Hasselblad 555 ELD/180 mm lens with a close-up attachment onto Fuji Neopan Acros 100 ISO film.

#india   #rajasthan   #girlrising   #girlpower   #monochromeworld   #monochromephotography   #ethnographicstudies   #hasselblad   #portraitphotographer   #documentaryphotographer  +Halim Ina