Sunday, March 27, 2022

Young Laborer + Shawl, 2020, India, Limited Edition (50), 11x14 Handmade Silver Gelatin Print Toned in Selenium

This young woman works during the day as a laborer in one of the Rajasthani government's construction jobs. My friend tells me that these jobs exist in order to subsidize the local economy and those without a skill set with respect to formal training. This young woman walks a few kilometers each way with her lunch container in hand. She is full covered for the work and does so under the grueling sun. Normally the men are supervising the work, but at times also join in. The work is tedious and never ends. Her work for example is to carry endless baskets of dirt from one place to another, all uphill since they are digging for a dam. Every year the project continues and it seems that there is no end in sight.

The purpose of selling these portraits on Etsy is to support the social work being accomplished through my photography. Presently we have six sewing centers in two states of India, serving both the Hindu and the Muslim communities. In these sewing centers, young women learn a trade while also making clothing for their families. The centers are located in the rural areas, where young women have only one option normally, marriage and a family. At this moment, due to COVID-19, the work is on hold. However, we plan to restart the centers in 2022 and the funds from the sale of these portraits will be applied to the work in India.

This is a silver gelatin print made by me, the photographer, in my darkroom. It is printed on Ilford MGIVWT glossy fiber 11x14 paper, and toned in selenium for permanence. It is processed in a Zone VI washer to archival standards, and allowed to dry overnight on a screen. The camera/lens combination was a Hasselblad 501CM/180mm, and the frame was exposed onto Ilford Delta 100. This frame is from a library of well over 300,000 negatives exposed over the last 24 years, from four continents and a dozen countries. Every person is spoken with prior to the portrait, and the process is explained fully. Most of my work is on film, and the countries are revisited year after year in order to continue the documentation of the same families, of the same communities. .

Each print will be signed and dated by me, the photographer, and numbered to a maximum of 50 prints (11x14) per negative.

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