Life Expressions Symbolism
Photo Exhibition by Shashwat Saraf
Venue: Galerie Romain Rolland, Alliance Francaise, Lodhi Road, New Delhi
Dates: 12th - 16th January 2011
This exhibition is a journey of discovery of a hidden jewel that is Chattisgarh. It is an exploration of the cultural magnificence of its various tribes as seen in everyday lives of the people. It provides a peep into the unsung life of the people going about their lives tucked away in the middle of glorious forests.
The beauty of incredibly tattooed bodies, the innocence in use of simple objects as fashion accessories, the mystery of untold stories hidden behind the wrinkles of an old woman, the fun of tales hidden behind the laughs of an old man, the sense of pride in use of musical instruments, the pleasure of dancing, the quiet confidence of a child in a school- the photographs succeed in building a warm, personal bond with the lives of strangers caught on camera while at the same time, leaving a thirst to know more!
For me, this exhibition is a small attempt to bridge the ever increasing disconnect between urban India and the ones living beyond the footprint of 24 hr Television channels. This gap, whenever bridged, is often done on a plank of sympathy emanating from portrayal of deprivation and poverty. This exhibition hopes to kindle a spark of interest which is based on respect, equality and admiration.
My twin identities - as amateur photographer and a development worker cannot be separated. The influence of one on the other is reflected in the subjects of my photographs and in the composition.
For me, the journey of taking these photographs was just as interesting as the photographs themselves. I moved from village to village on a motorcycle, slept in dhabas …..but all along the way, it was a happy adventure during which I made many new friends and even more memories.