"Nothing in India is identifiable, the mere asking of a question causes it to disappear or to merge into something else." - E.M. Forster

At first I wasn't moved by India. In Africa, contact with people and their emotions was simple and direct. In India, contact was ruled by codes that seemed incomprehensible to me. With everyone living for their next life, it was daunting to take pictures of this life. I searched for a way to photograph flesh and blood in a place where flesh and blood were not really very important.

Eventually, during my 5 weeks in Rajasthan in the summer of 2003, I stood still long enough to see that the mystery I thought was surrounding me, even smothering me, wasn't mysterious at all. It became clear that Hinduism was an ornate response to the simplest of human realities: we need shelter, food, love, family, and faith. 33 million gods including monkeys, elephants, and stones, serve to spread the burden of responsibility for both good and bad events in everyday life.

Although mostly Hindu, Rajasthan still bears the imprint of the Muslim culture that ruled India for centuries. I was surprised to find that women cover their faces in public, seeing the world through the gauze of their lurid scarves.

 

< back