An exhibition of photographs taken by well-known Indian fashion photographer Rohit Chawla was recently held at the Religare Art Gallery in the capital, Delhi. Titled “Goa Style”, the exhibition showed pictures of foreign travellers visiting the holiday destination of Goa. Mr Chawla says he met these people - whom he calls “nomads” - on the streets of Goa and photographed them at his home, standing against a white wall without any styling or unnatural posing.
He says the “nomads” he met came from countries such as the US, Easter Island, Chile, Spain and Russia. The men and women - with tattoos and body piercings - came dressed in dramatic outfits made with lace, leather, fur and feathers and immediately attracted attention.
Western photographers often come to India to look for “exotica”, so Mr Chawla says he took these pictures to show the “exotic tribe” of foreigners who descend on Goa from all over the world in the winters. Mr Chawla says everything the men and women in the photographs wear is created and made in Goa. "Their style quotient is better than the work of many of the world’s best designers," he says.
Mr Chawla said he had no problem persuading the people to pose for photographs as “Goa is such an easy-going and friendly place” where people trust each other. The photographer says some of the men he photographed could be described as the “global avatar of our own Naga sadhus” - the naked, dreadlocked Hindu holy men who were the biggest draw at the recent Kumbh Mela festival held in the northern Indian city of Allahabad. "They couldn’t tell me why they flock to Goa but many come from colder climes, so it’s not surprising that they want to enjoy the warmth of the beaches during the winter months," he says.
Originally a fashion photographer, Mr Chawla’s photos have been featured in international magazines such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Marie Claire.
Last week, in New Delhi, India, news stories of a horrific gang rape spread quickly, igniting widespread outrage. A 23 year old woman was attacked by six men on a moving bus and brutalized for 45 minutes, in the most recent and alarming of several high-profile incidents. Protesters have taken to the streets to demonstrate against the growing incidence of rape, and its slow and ineffective prosecution. Riot police have responded, dispersing crowds with forceful tactics including water cannons, batons, and tear gas. India’s government has now ordered a special inquiry into the incident to identify any negligence or errors on the part of police.
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Indian women as subjects of photographic representation have never been seen as anything other than exotic models of attractiveness… its current avatar being the one dimensional Bollywood stereotype. And that, ironically in an age where women’s accomplishments in practically every arena have far surpassed their male counterparts.
These are portraits of urban Indian women, selected for their interestingness rather than their physical charms, drawn from a variety of disciplines, sometimes confirming to gender stereotypes and sometimes defying them (via website)
Hindu women at a temple in New Delhi after participating in a procession that was part of Ganga Dussehra, a major Hindu festival, May 31, 2012. Hindus celebrate Ganga Dussehra by worshiping the River Ganges, consider the holiest river.
[Credit : Kevin Frayer/AP]
An Indian nomadic Gujjar child and her mother, at a temporary settlement in Jammu, India, May 6, 2012.
[Credit : Channi Anand/AP]
To celebrate Afro-indian culture within East Africa.
Photos by tanishq aarka
This is Africa, our Africa
WHATCHA DOIN’? Participants practiced yoga during Baba Ram Dev’s free yoga camp in Gwalior, India, on Friday. (Photo: Sanjeev Gupta / EPA via The Wall Street Journal)
Indian sex workers hold candles and posters as they march in a May Day rally asking for their rights and the recognition of their profession in Kolkata, late on April 30, 2012.
[Credit : Dibyangshu Sarkar / AFP / Getty Images]
The Muslim section of Jodhpur characteristically painted in cobalt blue- Rajasthan, India
from the source: “Indian suffragettes on the Women’s Coronation Procession of 17 June 1911. The small Indian contingent was organised by Mrs Jane Fisher Unwin (the daughter of Richard Cobden). She and other representatives of the WSPU contacted Indian women living in the UK in the weeks leading up to the procession, whilst organising the decorations and the collection of subscriptions for the elephant banner that cost between £4 & £5. The India procession was part of the ‘Imperial Contingent’ and was intended to show the strength of support for women’s suffrage throughout the Empire. All corners of the empire were represented and divided into 6 sections – New Zealand, Australia, Canada, South Africa, India and Crown Colonies & Protectorates. Annie Besant also took part in the India procession.”
A stray dog smeared with coloured powder walks in a lane on the last day of Holi festival celebrations in Bhopal, India, March 12, 2012.
[Credit : Rafiq Maqbool/AP]
A teacher holds a plate with coloured powder before hurling it on her students as they celebrate Holi, also known as the festival of colours, in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad March 7, 2012.
[Credit : Amit Dave/Reuters]
Hazara people are a turkic ethnic group living in Afghanistan. There are also Hazara communities in Pakistan, Iran, India, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan.
Hazara people have faced genocide and violence often having to flee from there homeland in Afghanistan.