Thursday, September 24, 2015

Young Student + Koranic School, Uttar Pradesh, India, April of 2015

This little classroom from an Islamic School has given me a truer sense of appreciation regarding available light. While photographing the boys a few rolls were exposed alongside the digital images. The light was magnificent, from one direction and with this wall as a background.

Two years ago we visited this area to document the refugees from a most recent eruption of sectarian violence. Our host family had done so much already for the camps, had signed over a portion of their considerable land so that the families could build more permanent homes.

Earlier this year I saw them doing even more. They had built this school, and were moving to present a more progressive school program to these very communities. The young man responsible for this movement shared with me that he would like to do more, to present art and the sciences as well as language courses. His views on the matter of education impressed me deeply, as we talked about the future of the school.

One needs to remember the environment in which his school existed. It is a mostly rural region, a distance away from the big cities. The community is a deeply conservative one, especially from the viewpoint of the girls. They face immense restrictions and walk with a sense of timidity through the alleys of their villages. When our eyes connect, it seems to me that every single one of them is trying to send a 'message in a bottle' through me, and through my photography.

It is my responsibility to do so, and one to be embraced fully.

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

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