Friday, February 25, 2011

Child, Student, Banjara Community, Rajasthan, India, November 25, 2008, Roll 1, Exposure 12

So many of their children look like any children from around the world.

Here is a child that belongs to the Banjara Community, can be from anywhere and from any family. Earlier this day, we stop by the side of the road for some oranges and apples. The people from the foundation tell us to stay inside the car because outside of the car we will garnish attention.

We decide to ask for forgiveness and walk with them to get the fruits. As we do so we of course witness their warning up and close. A few children gather around us and start their usual hustle, all in good jest and with genuine intention, for they are only trying to support their families.

One of them looks at me differently, recognizes me from last year. At that point the book of images from last year is shown to them and they begin to laugh, realizing that some of their friends are in that book. A few strangers take note and wonder what this outsider has in common with these young street children. We ask them if they are going to be in school later in the afternoon and they all give us the affirmative in the sweet Indian style with their heads.

We bid them farewell and go looking for a specific child. A few of the children a little further up the road recognize her in my book and point us in the correct direction. We locate the young girl's village and arrange to return the next day for some photography. Afterwards we return to that street corner and locate the children from earlier in the day.

Their encampment is kind to us, allowing our photography amidst the chaos. Voices are everywhere and people are running behind the subject and in front. The people from the foundation are certainly more nervous than me since they are the ones speaking directly to the people. Forgiveness can be granted to me since I am a stranger and lack further understanding.

Nevertheless all goes well and a chair is even located for the children to stand upon for their portraits, giving their faces access to the sun in the middle of the crowd. One such face is the child above, from the Banjara Community but resembling the face of children everywhere.

We will return and photograph this community, for they are on my mind day and night.

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