Monday, October 22, 2018

Young Student + Window, Koranic Madrasa, Uttar Pradesh, India, 2018

This past year in India witnessed the opening of the realization of something quite special, the opening of a new school for girls in Uttar Pradesh under the guidance of Nirvanavan Foundation. Five years after my first visit to the region we have come together in an interfaith manner to promote the education of girls in a region where such is oftentimes missing.

This young girl attends a madrasa in her village as well. The headmaster is a cousin to our leader in the region, and we were invited to see the school for ourselves. For the moment the madrasa concentrates on Koranic training, as well as Arabic lessons. We hope in the near future that we can gain enough support to also begin a school within this madrasa... a school where this young student may have access to a fuller curriculum which includes Hindi, Urdu, Science, Mathematics, Art and so on.

Her school stands on its own in the middle of wheat fields, and this windows faces one of those fields. It faces south with the sun setting to our right in viewing her portrait. We walked into the four classrooms and asked the girls of each classroom to follow us into this unused space. The windows let in the most beautiful light. The camera was set against the wall and the tripod had to be tilted between each exposure to advance the film.

She sat down so patiently for a roll of film. The entire time her bright eyes remained focused intently on the lens, never wavering for one second. This is even more incredible in light of the scene, two complete strangers there to make her portrait perhaps for the first time in her life.


Note: This image was made with a Hasselblad 503 CW/100 mm lens combination and scanned roughly through the clear sleeve for preview only.

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