When photographing my own community I want to focus on the details that I noticed when I had just moved to New Delhi last year. We live on an embassy compound and I feel like I’ve fallen in a way of living that is colonial and quite exploitative. We have help for everything, live in a beautiful, well kept place, in a diplomatic area right in the middle of a city where the majority of its inhabitants live on or below poverty line.
For every task there seems to be a person to do the job. I feel obliged to hire their services, because otherwise, there wouldn’t be a job for them. In the meantime, we expats live as in a holiday resort, having all the time to do what we enjoy. I don’t feel guilty for living the life that I live, but I do realise how surreal it is and how it deep down clashes with my beliefs of equal opportunities for all, etc.
I’ve been thinking on how to reflect these elements in my photographs. First of all, I want to show some of the people who work on our premises, other partners of people who work at the embassy and activities that take place, to give an overall view of what it looks like and how we spend our days.
In order to emphasise my engagement, I have decided to write the names of the people I know in the caption, if I don’t know their names, just a description of what they do and what I do know about them. In this way, it shows my connection with them and emphasises the sort of ‘downstairs – upstairs’ dynamic that is taking place.
I also like to show the differences in how they respond to me and the invisible wall of politeness and humbleness that I feel. I hope to show the layers of understanding, the huge gap between the circumstances we live under, my empathy or maybe indifference, or both.