Friday, February 13, 2015

Young Girl + Temple, Delhi, India, November of 2013




One day when nobody wanted to walk with me, I decided to walk by myself to the closest slum in Delhi. The team at the foundation had worked so hard for me over the past two weeks, perhaps it was right for me to go at it alone this morning. So I took off and headed by foot to the slum about a mile away.

It was a bit daunting when I arrived, as the more mainstream residents from across the street looked on. However, the people living in the slum were much more open to my presence even though we lacked a common language. Within a few minutes I was walking into the center of the slum on my own, and being greeted with at least acceptance.

In the center was the tiny square, where residents enjoyed talking with tea from the local shop. They offered tea without asking, and we sat down, conversing with facial expressions only.

I thanked them and began walking through the alleys to see this small girl, wearing the most incredible sweater. I asked if we could walk to the outskirts of the slum for open light, and they agreed. It just so happened that this was also the spot for the slum's garbage, and we went about setting everything up in the midst of it all. People walked by but said nothing, a few remained to watch us make this portrait.

She was incredibly valiant under the circumstances, with people all about and the smell of the debris around us. After this portrait we returned to the center of the slum, and walked around a little bit more. The second image is the result of this walk, a picture of a temple for the residents. 

I once again thanked everyone for their time, the tea and understanding… then went back to the foundation's headquarter for the rest of the morning. When I told my good friend about my early morning, he was deeply surprised but just smiled rather than giving me a lecture regarding the danger of it all. He would have done the same he said, if he had the confidence to do so.

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Note: These images were made with a Hasselblad V System, onto Fuji Neopan Acros 100 ISO film.