I am publishing next week’s post now as I am away next week on a school camp. And yes, you read the above correctly. I am asking you to give me your cameras! Do not panic, I am not after your brand new Sony A7iii (although I would take it). Many of you will have old discarded and outdated cameras. Unused cameras could have a chance of a second life in India.
During the last couple of weeks I have been taking photos of a large rubbish dump. Those of you that have been to developing nations will know that these places are hives of activity and homes for many people. I am sure that this particular slum is not the worst in the world. Running water was available from standpipes, but there was no sewer system. Toilets hovered over a slow running stream, which was pretty damn fragrant. Crossing this stream was a rickety wooden bridge, which I crossed with a lot of care.
I am not sure how this resonates with other Street Photographers, but I do feel a degree of guilt in that we ‘take’ photos. We take, we post, we ‘like.’ I wanted to ‘give’ photos to this community. Printing pictures is cheap in India, and I headed to the slum area with around 40 prints I had previously captured. Although the slum is large, everyone knew each other, and it took very little time for the photographs to find their way to the families featured.
I would like to teach photography to some of the children from this area. For this I need cameras. Obviously, I am talking about old cameras that are unused or even broken (it is incredible how hitting a camera will often fix it). There are a host of things that can go wrong here, and realistically some of the cameras may never get seen again. If you have a camera you can donate, then please get in touch. I am in the UK in a couple of weeks; if you are in India, you know where I am.
Hopefully, I would be able to see a small group of kids once or twice a week. I would be looking at showing them how to get it right ‘in camera’ as there is not a lot of access to editing software. As to what to do with these photos – who knows? But it would be good to ‘give’ and not just ‘take’ pictures. The families living in these conditions are impoverished. Hopefully, this is an initiative that will bring a little more joy into the world.
Please do contact me if you have any old unused photo gear collecting dust that could be put to use.
Take care and keep clicking,