The BBC has a short (too short, if you ask me) photo essay produced by villagers in Rajasthan.
“These pictures were taken by villagers from the Indian state of Rajasthan. Most were illiterate, untrained in photography using simple cameras lent or given to them. They highlight the work of the innovative Barefoot College in the village of Tilonia. The emphasis is on villagers searching out traditional and new ways of bettering their lives.”
Some of the images are terrific. Goes to show that you don’t need a college degree in photography to visualize great images. This image, above, is my favorite. We don’t have to see their faces but we know the people in the frame are all villagers singing songs [“oh, Mr. Tambourine man …”]. Some appear to be excited about something, in mid-dance, while some others like the women wearing red shawls appear contemplative.
I love the cinematic, almost epic-like, quality of the light showering the line of people shuffling along the red-dirt mounds. It’s this sense of left-to-right motion, color, light and perspective that makes this an image we can look at again and again.
These and other images are can be seen at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London until June 17, 2005.