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A Hundred Charmers in Concert

MEHA DESAI
A tradition lost, a community forgotten, legends created, an attempt at redemption.

The stereotypical representatives of India, one interaction with the snake charmers is enough to know why they fascinate and capture every imagination. A people immersed in tradition and colour and opium, they captivate attention easily especially once they begin to play. Their music leaves as much to the imagination as it reveals and today, when they are no longer allowed to play with their snakes, nostalgia lingers within these parameters.

My aim was to capture the silence into which the Jogi Naths are being pushed. The juxtaposition of the colour and the sound and the thrill of the concert and the stillness of black-white photographs is reflective of the juxtaposition of the magnificence that they once had and the abyss into which they are fast fading.

In attempting to create a mysterious element through the photographs, the idea is to invite the viewer to participate in the process of finding and searching, not only in the photograph, but also, in the effort to search for alternatives and choices that can be made available to this community.

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