Last December, a friend of mine organised a Christmas party for children of an organisation that helps them with education, after school activities and vocational skills. All these kids come poor families in Delhi, live in slums and don’t have access to proper sanitation, healthcare and quality education. My friend asked me if I could photograph them and give them all a print. I set up a space in her garden to photograph the children. They were really eager and happy to be photographed. Here are some of the photos that I took:
As I was editing the photographs I wondered about how I would perceive these beautiful people if I had taken their photos in their homes or streets they live in. Would I have felt pity for them? Would I have photographed them differently, still asked them to smile? Would I still categorise them as underprivileged, or just teenagers? What is it that I want to convey, besides just trying to make an image that the kids will like to look at and feel proud of?
I still have to go to the organisation and hand over the images. Maybe I’ll ask them to write something about it and it to my own files, have to think about that!