PHOTOGRAPHER'S NOTE: This work is a step into the unknown for me. As a studio-trained fashion photographer, I've harbored a gut feeling for the last three years that my path, though not yet visible to me, lay in experiences beyond the studio—that through connecting with strangers and their cultures I may best contribute as an image maker. I booked a flight to Calcutta with no defined itinerary. It is my hope that these images may touch a few, spark a connection with those we do not know based upon our common humanity, and exist as an offering to cultures and environments that continuously arise and recede from view.
Cochin, India April 2015
In the neighborhoods just north of the infamous Sudder Street lay frenetic alleys where one is confronted viscerally with the realities of human existence. Amidst inescapable poverty, the pre-monsoon heat suffocates and the stench of excrement hangs in the air. Even as a New Yorker I was ill-prepared for the aggressive drone of car horns and street peddlers. I spent much of that first day in my modest hotel room. I did not want to go back out there.
The next morning I chose to begin photographing just as the sun rose- primarily to avoid the heat. My lens fogged over instantly and as I had previously decided that Kolkata would tell me how it wanted to be photographed, I let this cataract-vision become my motif. The streets had just begun to awaken, and bodies of sleeping homeless and stray dogs were still strewn about the sidewalks. Yesterday's clamor had become today's languid repose. As a small herd of goats rambled by, I spoke with a group of muslim schoolboys playing cricket in a dirt lot. When asked why they were playing at such an unusual hour, they informed me that today was Good Friday and they had the day off.