Monday, December 28, 2015

Woman with Child, Nirvanavan Foundation, Rajasthan, India, 2015

Every time we walk past this house on our way to the teacher's home, the family asks us to make photographs, without exception. While I would like to oblige, taking the camera out of the bag means making more photographs than anticipated. Once the camera is out of the bag, it's one portrait after another… one combination of family members after another.

So in this instance we make this portrait and about three other combinations, before moving on. What is most amazing about this experience is that all they want is to be photographed, and rarely ask for their photographs even though we do provide them.

When we arrive to the teacher's home, it is like arriving to heaven. We enter the house and find the space most peaceful, as if an invisible barrier prevents anything/anyone negative from entering. The boys know better than to enter, and the brave ones who do are shown the way out once they do. This is a place for the girls, for our students… and a safe haven for their dreams.

I look forward to standing in front of this spot in four months, but even more so the destination just a dozen meters past it.

PS As a side note, after posting this image I noticed the chairs and bench behind the woman and child. In all of my visits to this village and the others hosting our schools, I have rarely seen a woman sitting in them. I learned pretty quickly that women were not allowed to sit in a chair, and that the floor was her place to sit.

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