My latest photo-set: Seelattuparambu is a community of 70 Sunni Muslims in Fort Cochin. Fort Cochin itself is very touristic, pretty and well-to-do and if you didn’t know about Seelattuparambu you’d miss it since its entrance is hidden behind an arched gate-way. Their houses back on to a shared ‘green’ where the cattle graze. This tight-knit neighbourhood is home to our friend Nazar and it is through him that I was able to invite myself along to take some photographs of the residents. These 20 images are what I managed to take in a one-hour gap between down-pours, whilst the women took the opportunity to hang out their washing. These are the extra images from my ‘Preparing Dinner’ set, which I will publish and tell you about in due course. I hope this provides a little eye-opener into a small, unseen community.
In April of 2010 I went to visit the Dharavi slums of Mumbai. Twice. It was a most incredible experience and we really got to grips with the society and culture there. This is a large set of almost 100 images, all in different styles, documenting many aspects of the slums. For the record I’m a little uncomfortable using the word ‘slum’ as it’s both a little insulting and a misrepresentation of Dharavi.
Colaba is downtown Mumbai. It’s the gentrified part of the city where university buildings sit next to the law courts, art deco apartment blocks and 60s prefabs. It is also the first part of Mumbai that we, as yotties having arrived by boat, get to see. My brother, having seen the photographs, described it as a tropical London. That’s not far off the mark.
Massawa has some stunning architecture left over from the Italians who ruled for many years. Thirty years ago it was the first town to be liberated from Ethiopia and so many of these beautiful buildings were shot to pieces. Eritrea is, according to the UN, the second poorest country in the world. The buildings may be fine examples of architecture from long ago but the local people do not have the money to renovate their homes. Once these buildings fall down, that’s it, they’ll be gone forever.
Wandering the dusty market in Massawa, Eritrea, I turned a corner and bumped into this group of kids. Their parents all worked in the market and were more than happy to allow their kids to pose for me. Judging by these shots I don’t think I was the first to photograph them because they knew how to work the camera!
This is the first of three sets from this country of contrasts. What is there to say about Eritrea that my photographs don’t already tell you? I can tell you that everyone I know who has visited Eritrea puts it up there as one of their favourite countries visited and I think it is perhaps my fave country of all time. It is the second poorest country in the world. Just remember that when you clock the amount of smiles captured here.