The people that we met were amazing! So many people invited us in, shared with us food and drinks (including warm milk, straight from the buffalo!) and cared for us, even though it was obvious to each of us that they had far fewer material possessions to share.


    For me, my memories are of the people. The dignified family living ten to the dozen in a spotless and tiny little room with the daughter studying engineering and making her own earrings. The girl putting on her very best (though rather frayed) for her photograph. The ladies from the festival being ecstatic when we returned a few days later with heaps of photo prints, asking if we would come back next year.

    Watching a guy in tattered clothes walk away after a shot, holding his print in one hand, and some cash I’d given him in another, his unexpected good luck in both respects almost bubbling out of him, each step practically a dance. He had such kind eyes.


    My last two shots, on my last night of the whole shoot, were to complete the kids project. I wanted to shoot the ‘butterfly’ and ‘doll’ shots, and it was this last one that choked me up more than any of the others.

    The girl’s family lived beneath a fly over, on a patch of cement that was lodged between six lanes of traffic, not counting the ones above. They had a low tarpaulin for cover and a flickering fire for a kitchen, and all the while the angry traffic kept up a murderous assault. It felt, to me, intolerable.


    Close to the dump which, from a distance, I’d mistaken for a mountain, the workers sorted, ground, cleaned, cut and recycled. Hour after hour.

    It was so so hot! Reality blurred while the air burned.


    I felt conflicted at times. The location was to me so oppressive. I felt potentially burdensome to them, and worried that what I was calling them away, for my gain rather than theirs. I never finished with that feeling, but it was always on my mind.

    I’d taken a battery powered printer with me, and it was a wonderful way to share the excitement that I had for the shoot. The prints helped make it into something longer lasting, and something more tangible  – something to be shared around and displayed.

    To share, rather than to give or to take (is it possible to give or take without being motiveless?) was the thread running through my trip.