Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Young Girl + Kanjar Community, Rajasthan, India, 2013

She is surrounded on a daily basis by the tentacles of the sex trade. She watches as men from the nearby villages walk through her village and with her sisters, aunts and cousins. She endures this reality every single day of her life, knows that the men in her village enable this trade, that her brothers, cousins and uncles do the bidding for their forced labor.

In the middle of all of this her portrait was made last year with Nirvana and his team at Nirvanavan Foundation. We guided the girls to the rooftop of the classroom and spent perhaps an hour making their portraits. This one struck my eyes immediately, and she knew it. Whatever she was wearing was secondary to me, it was her face that captured and never let go of my admiration. So I attached the close up tube to the camera and set my sights on her countenance.

Here was a girl whose eyes had seen the worst of humanity, yet shared nothing but its best with us on that rooftop. Her power overwhelmed me, and to have this portrait as a reminder of her presence means the world to me. I do hope that she is there next year and that the foundation will have the time to allow me one more visit to her village.

I also hope that the school has made further strides in this community, and that she has another path upon which to walk in the near future.


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.

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