Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Refugee + Home, Village near Kairana, Uttar Pradesh, India, 2013

This was the scene which greeted me on my first visit to the area. Just a few months earlier, this region experienced horrific violence between Hindus and Muslims, resulting in tens of thousands displaced. The camps we visited on this day were the result.

The local families had given their lands for the sake of the displaced, allowing the recovery process to begin. We walked around the camps and met many of the families affected. With the permission of the community we were able to do our photography, and also were able to record some of the stories through interviews.

This very camp was located just outside of our host's village, and on our host's land as well. Decades earlier their grandfather had done the same for another community by the name of the Banjara Tribe which, to this day, still lived on the land since transferred over to their community. So this is a host family which impressed me deeply, through their words and even more so through their actions.

The kindness and trust with which these families treated us is the inspiration behind our present proposal to open a school in this region. As per my conversations with Asrar Ahmad and Nirvana Bodhisattva, it was time to act for the sake of sectarian peace rather than violence.

Since this image was made many of these families have built permanent homes, while just as many have returned to their villages to begin the rebuilding process. Through Nirvana Bodhisattva's guidance we hope that our first established school is a model for the region, and is the news which is broadcast outside of the region.

Note: This image was made with a Sony RX100M3.

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