This month’s issue of Mondo Arc magazine features some of my work from Dev Diwali Festival in Varanasi. See the story here, or scroll down for the unedited question and answers. Most of these images are made during my annual photography tour to Varanasi, which we conduct in November.
Q: Tell me about the experience of creating the images in Varanasi…how did you chose the subject.
Varanasi has an unseen depth to it, rarely understood by its visitors. During the day, it’s a busy mix of pious pilgrims hoping to earn merit in the other world, businesses that depend on them and tourists who are looking to witness all this. As the night falls, the dimly lit alleys grow quiet and everyone congregates at an explosion of lights at Dasaswamedh Ghat, where the evening ritual of Ganga Aarti is performed by priest swaying torches under floodlit steps leading to the river.
Behind all this is a belief that moves the city and an energy that holds its constructs together. My motive has always been to capture this belief and energy that serves as the city’s foundation. I attempt go behind the faces and their interactions, trying to catch an unseen flow of otherworldly forces that appear define the city’s way of life. The people, the lights and the rituals form manifestations of this internal energy through which I try to represent the ethereal mystery of the city. click to read more »