Kids in India is a photography book that explains my journey in India throughout the photographs I took of kids in different scenarios, situations or just particular moments in time. On may 10, 2013 I traveled to India with my University, the plan was to work with different communities and help them using our design skills, we had only 3 weeks to choose our organization, plan the project and deliver the results. Each day was long and tiring but also it was full of gratitude.
The process of this book started in India, I knew I had to create something that mix my graphic design skills with all the photos I had, brainstorming was fun I explore the idea of a collage in a big scale, to create an mobile app to watch the photos, but I opt for the book since it could be use in my future as a piece of portfolio for both graphic design and photography portfolio. For the layout I wanted to be clean and conservative I use a renascence composition on the pages to give more importance to the few writing and balance the photo with the text. The cover was challenging but the photo “kids” was just perfect for what I was aiming; a book that attracts the viewer and tells the story of kids and their doings.
Coming back and living back in Canada feel so surreal, when it should been the opposite, I feel that I should go back to Malavli because I have to make sure I catch on of those ground crabs, to make sure I did lock the door or even to pick up my lunch from the yellow house. As soon as I walk in my room, I was happy to see all my stuff again but at the same time I realize how useless some of the stuff is. I feel that I discover how the other part of the world is living and coming back to Canada where everything is quite, organized; where I don’t have to turn the heater of the washroom before using it, where I will not get food poison from eating a hot dogs form the street; seems like dream of everything been perfect and no reason to fear anything no reason to feel the excitement of life.
I have been thought that every situation has a good side and a bad side and to learn to live life you will have to be aware of the bad side but enjoy the good side, here in Canada the bad side is so hidden that sometimes it doesn’t affect you directly and then you are living in a “good side” for ever you will start to overlook the meaningful stuff. My point is that you will never learn to appreciate the good side you live in because you don’t have the contrast of the bad side. In India I learn to enjoy my fan in my room, I learn to appreciate the naan I got in the restaurant or the rotti I was giving for lunch, I learn to appreciate the 50 rupees I had because I could buy a littler of Aquafina water and 3 packs of chips.
The first purchase I made back in Canada was new sunglasses, and when I bought them it was different, I knew that for once in my life I have to take care of this glasses I have to not think of an object that I can always buy if I loose them, but as a privilege that I am buying sunglasses to protect my eyes from the sun. yes it may sound absurd to think of a sunglasses this way but that is my point, even the most meaningless stuff have a reason for been there. I hope this way of thinking doesn’t go away with time, because it makes me feel that I am still living in a live where there is a bad and a good side.
the good side the bad side.
Co-Designing with kids from the cantonment area.
Co-Designing with the adults from the cantonment areas
interviews at the office of Sadhana
Group working late nights
To start I, Felipe Sarmiento, would like to point out that my analysis, essays, etc. That I would be writing in India and about India, would try to focus on my experience throughout this journey, I would try to not show what everyone in the world already knows about this culture –their poverty–. I was warned by its poverty by mostly everyone that knew about my trip, and I think it would be foolish of me travel all this distant to reiterate what my acquaintances said. To communicate an idea, sometimes details hold the key, and my essays are not different from this, however I will try to avoid yellow journalism, since it could bring a negative connotation to my argument, this is not a writing about the poverty of India, instead is about my experience on how the people and the culture have adapt to their destiny and make the best out of it.
Day one, all my friends tell me out how different is going to be, their parents explain to you that the cultural shock will hit you as soon as I get off the plane, I guess with all the warning that you received you are waiting for the worse and try to be ready for it. As soon as the plane landed and I got out to the airport I knew it was not the worse I was expecting something less civilized, after all Mumbai is one of the biggest cities in the world so a system (even a chaotic one) had to be present so the city could be where it is know. While picking my luggage and going through immigration was not as abnormal as I had pictured it.
Then we start driving towards our temporary home, we were to be transported by a prepaid taxi, yet this taxi was probably manufacture in the early 60’s I could tell since the speedometer didn’t reach more than 100 km\h there was not back light in the board and for trunk was minimum, however the shine silver lines at the bottom, nice clean headlights, clean interior would suggest that this car was made a few years ago and was ready for the adventures, it really transports you back in time.
As we start to drive I then start notice some examples of the poverty we were all warned back in Canada, so there was not surprise there what they did not warned you is that the poverty doesn’t really stop. No matter how ready you mind set is, and how prepare you are for the circumstances your mind, body and soul can only process so much, not to long after you will be overwhelm of the circumstances people leave here and not matter how ready you are to understand it.