Saturday, December 21, 2013

Girl + Refugee, Uttar Pradesh, India, December 1, 2013

Today was spent driving past frenzied shoppers looking for that last minute item for their loved ones. Walking from one aisle to another, my eyes glazed over as all of the products suddenly looked the same. My mind was unable to help itself, and felt a bit disconnected from the scene, as an out of body experience is often described.

My thoughts wandered to this little girl, living in a refugee camp hundreds of miles away from her devastated village. She was almost passed up as the organizers of our session presented the children to us for photography. Perhaps they thought we wanted something else, when all we wanted was the truth.

This little girl walked up to her spot in front of the lens and stared back at the camera without hesitation. She looked right at the camera, never looking to her friends for assistance. She was little more than two or three years old perhaps, but was able to hold her ground effortlessly. We exposed four or so frames and then she walked away.

Her hair was as course as steel wool, while her face was covered with various layers of dirt and dust, giving her hues ranging from red to yellow to brown.

What has she seen in her young life? What was going through her mind at this very moment?

I will never know, but am obliged to share her image with the larger public. My hope is that others will be affected by her expression and perhaps move forward in the relations between the various factions, rather than allowing fissures to progress to fractures.
Halim Ina Photography

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