Saturday, February 13, 2016

Migrant Girl, Under the Train Station, Outskirts of Delhi, India, 2015

So the search begins this week for the faces from last year's work with Humana India, including this young girl living under a train station on the outskirts of Delhi. We visited this encampment last April in order to document the good work being done by the foundation, and were immediately seized by the incredible need present.

People lived in a tent city just under an immense bridge, with flies buzzing around everywhere. The children were playing on piles of garbage, and the sound from the traffic above was deafening at times. In the midst of all of this the most angelic faces were present, including this young girl.

Her face caught my attention as we drove up to the main building. She was standing next to a bench on which her family was sitting. I tried to maintain my composure but let it be known that she needed to be photographed as this was the smile she gave me when we passed by.

After we set up for our session an hour or so later, I once again made it clear to my friends that we needed to do so... but she was never told by our team. Almost in desperation I walked over to her area and asked one of my friends to come along. We asked about her since she was now gone, and she came forth with the most beautiful expression. She and her sister walked with us to our location a few dozen meters away, and we made this portrait of her.

Few young girls have such tattoos on their faces, as such practices are fading in India and in the Middle East as well. While I have seen such with the older women, such tattoos are rarely found on the younger generation. My initial impression of her was of course much more than the tattoo, as her features spoke volumes about the spirit inside.

Later this month I will visit this spot once again, and sincerely hope that she is present to speak once again through her expressions. At the same time, I do hope that her living condition has improved, and that she has found a better place to thrive. This is the nature of the work, to wish for the best regardless of the photographic outcome.

Note: This image was made with a Sony RX100M2.

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