Thursday, September 10, 2015

Boy + Koranic School, Uttar Pradesh, India, April of 2015

Sometimes the boys do take center stage, and this was the case in this small Islamic school located just inside of Uttar Pradesh from Delhi. Last year we met some local families dealing with the humanitarian crisis in the area as best as they could, and formed bonds with them which led us to this school earlier this year.

We drove from Rajasthan to Uttar Pradesh one morning, and reached the school in time to see the students prior to their departure. Can any of us imagine one day sitting down in a tiny village reciting the Koran then looking up and seeing this stranger with a camera walking in?

The looks on the faces, especially the girls, was indescribable. These are the expressions which keep me going back overseas, and which drive my work. This time however the boys were equally curious, and led me to include them in the portraits more so. We of course worked digitally, for the film was reserved for the girls and a select number of boys.

However, looking back at this portrait, I do wish that I had included more boys in the film photography. That being written, I am content in having this young boy's portrait digitally. He is magnificent, his expression as haunting as any from that day. The school is just behind him, with one room reserved for the boys and one room reserved for the girls.

The landlord is my friend, the man responsible for singlehandedly bringing forth the vision for a needed school and for building the school with his family's resources, onto his family's land. The children have a place to study, and in the near future my friend aspires to expand the curriculum to include other languages, mathematics, the arts and science. He is a visionary, and knows how to work within the system while including voices from the outside.

Note: This image was made with a Sony RX100M2, with available light only.

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