Category Archives: Travel Notes
Once Amit and I left Gujarat, where I’d shot my Gujarati nomads project, we headed for Mount Abu, in Southern Rajasthan, on the way back home. It was late night when we arrived there and we couldn’t imagine it’d be so difficult for us to find decent accommodation for a reasonable rate. To our surprise hotels were rather overpriced and less than decent, so it took us a couple of hours before we realised that Mount Abu was no place for us and we hijacked our driver, Mr. Patel, towards Udaipur.
Both Amit and I knew Udaipur (I had been with Romana as part of our big trip in 2010), and we were 100% sure we would find a more welcoming environment in the so-called Lake City. We arrived in the morning and checked in at a nice hotel near the ghats – thanks to Amit who knows the guys, we got a good deal. We dropped our stuff in the room, but Continue reading
During my recent trip to India, and before I headed to Gujarat for my nomads project, I had the opportunity to visit Jaisalmer, and the pleasure of staying at the hotel my friend manages: Nirmal Haveli. With the hotel located in a quiet area outside (but near) Jaisalmer old town, a comfortable, clean, finely-furnished room and a great cook in the hotel restaurant I couldn’t possibly ask for a nicer treatment.
Given the limited amount of time I had, I was indeed impatient to go to Gujarat and start shooting my project, but that didn’t stop me from visiting a couple of villages in the Thar desert (courtesy of mr. Singh, the hotel driver, AKA “mr. Singh desert king”) and go on a couple of photo-walks in town, along with a fellow solo traveller (who happened to be a photography enthusiast too). Continue reading
A few weeks ago I went on a solo photography trip to India to shoot a self-assignment about the nomadic communities living in Gujarat. As part of my pre-trip preparation I undertook some research, bouncing ideas around with friends, checking articles and other resources, and learning about the current reality and life conditions of these groups. I knew the two plus weeks I had planned to devote to this trip where going to be tight for such a complex subject matter, but I was more than happy to take the challenge.
With about 4 million members in more than 300 different communities, the nomadic population of the state of Gujarat is quite substantial and diverse. In the past each nomadic community used to provide a specific service to the society: many groups specialised in performing – they were musicians, fire-eaters, snake-charmers, acrobats, whereas other tribes would carry out manual work (e.g. ironsmiths, knife-sharpeners, bamboo artisans). Technology and industrialisation have contributed to the collapse of the demand for such services, leaving these people out of work, threatening the survival of their culture and traditions, and – what’s worse – eroding their livelihood. Continue reading