Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Girl + Kajal, Shamli District, Uttar Pradesh, India, 2018

Whenever, and I mean whenever she is asked to step forward for her photograph she steps up without hesitation. She has the most different way of speaking, and is in perfect harmony with the camera. She understands my need to photograph her perfectly... and on this day came with kajal around her eyes for this incredible portrait.

Every once in a while doubt regarding the work comes up... whether that arises from the field, from the foundation or from the difficulties in raising funds. Each and every time there is a sense of doubt my memories of her eases my anxiety. She is without a doubt the inspiration for this collaboration and pushes me always to do more.

How could anyone let her and her friends down?

She lives in a tiny village within the district of Shamli. Her and her siblings have always attended religious classes in Kari Shokeen's madrasa. For the past year she has also received the general curriculum thanks to the new school, and attended sewing class in the afternoon.

Kari Shokeen and Imdadulla Nadvi have succeeded in transforming the religious school into an incredible space for learning. The rooftop of the school now has two beautiful classrooms, with a private bathroom. The wall was extended so as to give the girls privacy, while the teaching staff is all-female.

I love watching her in class under such circumstances. She and her friends have my support always, and I am grateful for those of us who have been generous enough to support this humble cause.


Note: This image was made with a Hasselblad 503 CW/100 mm combination.

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