“Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”

© All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved. 
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
The use of any work without consent of the artist is PROHIBITED and will lead automatically to consequences.

A photograph can say so many things or nothing.
Sometimes the viewers want to see in it things which are not there…
It is important to know everything in order to have the capacity to form an opinion on what we see.

This picture belongs to the catalogue of our new collection.
Anand who became the icon model of what we are doing since several seasons is holding a woolen throw with aari embroideries influenced by the Mughals and the Rajputs styles.
It was shot a few days ago when it was really hot outisde, we went to the upper terrace of our office in order to use this amazing wall as a background.
Because of the heat we couldn’t stay for a long time, we had to be fast.
Maybe my friend was nude under the throw, maybe he was not; but it is not important.
This picture is made in order to attract your attention to what is behind this, what you can’t see.
There are many people there who manage to have a decent life because of the orders we get on those items, children go to school, families have medical care, amazing artcrafters carry on their work which was vanishing like handloom weavers, tailors, dyers, embroiderers,…
Everyone involved in this small industry in Varanasi (Benaras) belongs to several cultures, religions or castes and had many difficulties in their lives, all together they rely on this work in order to keep faith in a better life.
Anand is happy to make those pictures, he is the one who had the idea to pose for me, he became a kind of local hero but most of all he found out that he had the skill to be a model “even” if he has a dark skin complexion which is a cultural taboo in India.
Our publicity campaign is also a way to fight against colour skin discrimination.

I am sorry to have to explain to those who wrote to me that I am “exploiting poor” people in those series that there is no exploitation of anyone in this work.
However if I give a second thought maybe I am exploiting YOU, those who believe so, as in fact Anand never posed nude on the upper terrace which is surrounded by several buildings and therefore I had to use Photoshop to pretend that, but this is another topic…
(Throw style “LODHI” / RED HALO – Winter 09 -10)

Title inspired by Nina Simone.
(“…I’m just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood”)

“Like” the RED HALO page on Facebook and join this amazing human adventure in Varanasi, www.facebook.com/redhalo.in

Join the photographer at www.facebook.com/laurent.goldstein.photography


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2 Responses to ““Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood””

  1. Thanks Nina, you took me way back. The Sundays in the park with the hippies, beatnicks and just plain on folk was a good period in our history. Thanks for memory lane. Tampa

  2. Wow, this image of Anand and the composition of the photo are amazing. I have to say, in fact, perfect. There is a lot of art and craftsmanship in this image–the model is an artist (definitely there is talent and skill there), the photographer is both an artist and a fine technician, the fabric is a work of high design and skillful hands and the setting is dramatic and beautiful.

    I’m sorry to hear that someone would accuse you of exploiting the poor. What are they doing for the poor, while sitting comfortably somewhere enjoying the use of their computer and all their other worldly possessions? You are showing us through your photos the wealth of a country which has magical charm.

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