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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Discovering India

Explore the subcontinent through the images of India’s Foreign Photographer of the Year, Fredric Roberts

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Vishnoi Mother And Child
India is in transition. With a middle class that’s now larger than the entire population of the U.S., a new sense of prosperity and the subtle erosion of traditions have come to India. In this context, Roberts’ work has taken on yet another dimension. Because he’s drawn to the rural areas where change comes more slowly, he’s inadvertently documenting a way of life that may not exist much longer. The homogenization of India is taking place, but outside of the big cities one can still see the rich traditional culture with its ancient roots.

In Humanitas II: The People of Gujarat, Roberts explores a region that’s off the usual agenda for most tourists. Nestled in the northwestern corner of India with a coastline along the Arabian Sea, Gujarat is an economic driver for the country. Ancient port cities, a border with Pakistan and the neighboring states of Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh make Gujarat a cultural crossroads. Temples dedicated to a broad range of religions abound and folk art is everywhere. Here, Roberts’ DSLRs have found a fertile environment. Away from the developed cities, the region’s villages still show their roots to hundreds of years of princely state rule, and in the protected national parks and forests, Gujarat is the natural habitat of the rare Asiatic lion.

As a foreign photographer, Roberts comes to India with a vision that hasn’t been jaded by the constant stimulation that is India. Around every corner there’s something new to see. Some people speak of the ability to see the world with the eyes of a child, constantly discovering and questioning. This is how Roberts approaches the sights and people of India. And at every step, his camera is ready. Seeing India through Roberts’ photographs is to glimpse the richness of a deeply spiritual people.

To see more of Fredric Roberts’ photography, visit fredricroberts.com.


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