Where did I came from and where was I going? There is a time to dig the earth looking for gold, and another to climb the greatest mountain. The city made of gold is only a dream in my mind now, are the photographs a proof of anything? Maybe nothing of all this has ever been real indeed.
This could be my father. He used to smoke, too, but he never wore a turban. When I’ll be back home, I’ll do some portraits with him. Jaisalmer, India, 2014.
Where am I? Dance the pigeons around my head like on any public place in Paris. The sun rising over the desert is starting to reveal the golden buildings arising from the sand. Is this sun the same as before? Is there only one sun lighting all the places in the world? Certainly not. Jaisalmer, India, 2014.
The swastika means you well. Swastika or Lucky Charm. In Sanskrit: su “well” asti “being” ka “making”. The oldest found has been dated as early as 10,000 BC. In 1920 it was adopted by the Nazi party to symbolize the Aryan race, stigmatizing the sign as associated with antisemitism, hatred, death and murder. In India, painted next to a door, it’s still an auspicious sign and an invitation to the gods. Jaisalmer, India, 2014.
Please do not give tips. He looked at me, I looked at him, he looked at the lamp (I was meant to place my hand on top of it for a prayer), I looked at the lamp, I looked at him, he looked at me, he looked at the bill (giving a donation afterward…), I looked at the bill, he looked at me, I looked at him moving my camera upward, he initiated his eyes move on the side… I took the picture. Jaisalmer, India, 2014.
I am Rishabha and not the Buddha! I was the first human to attain enlightenment. I’m the founder of Jainism, a non-theistic religion which prescribe a path of Ahimsa – nonviolence – towards all living beings, and emphasizes equality between all forms of life. In Jainism, violence refers primarily to injuring one’s own self – behaviour which inhibits the soul’s own ability to attain liberation. At the same time it also means violence to others because it is this tendency to harm others that ultimately harms one’s own soul. Ahiṃsā profoundly influenced Mahatma Gandhi; it formed a basis of his satyagraha (truth struggle) against colonial ruling. Jaisalmer, India, 2014.
The Arecaceae antenna. Going around the fortifications in the early morning I find myself in front of man on the phone. He sounded quite serious, I noted the flashy yellow shirt. I don’t like to disturb people when they are in a conversation, still I took a pictures quickly, then I backed off. Jaisalmer, India, 2014.
I’ll never forget you. The entrance of the Fort Palace is still showing some red painted hand prints. It was the last trace a woman would leave behind her before entering the Harem. She would never go out or leave the place for the rest of her life. Jaisalmer, India, 2014.
The door was left open. But you shouldn’t go look inside, what happened there is pretty dreadful. Sometimes things are in purpose left to the open for the people to see and learn what could happen to them. It’s not money, neither power, it’s fear that drives the world. Jaisalmer, India, 2014.
Under the veil. Of every person lies a world of memories, expectations and dreams. I’ll never know what’s behind the green door, I would expect a warm home for a family. Still I’ll never know what her dreams are about, what life made her going through, what it is to open the green door everyday. I’ll never know the world under this woman purple veil. Jaisalmer, India, 2014.
Keeping on building things. Building things with Legos. Building things with 3D softwares. Building relationships, and destroying them too. Building things in my mind all the time. I hope one day I’ll be building a temple for my mind to be at rest. Well, actually, isn’t that my body? Jaisalmer, India, 2014.
She’ll always be there. Striking thing to witness that, whatever I do, how far I can go, she’ll always be waiting for me to come back home. A mother in the fort. Jaisalmer, India, 2014.
On taking pictures of kids. One assistant teacher at the International Center of Photography told me one day: “Don’t take too many pictures of children in the street, they aren’t real subjects!” I still love to do it, and to remember the time I spend observing them while watching the pictures afterwards (this one was fighting with his sister over candies a moment before). Remembering how free is their mind, unstained by a troubled past, and desires to “become”. How natural this all is in their childhood! Then I try to remember mine. Jaisalmer, India, 2014.
Girls are tough. My sister lives in a neighbor city of Paris, she now has two kids and works at the headquarters of the French Red Cross, she has a very busy life. She is often doubting about herself even though she always kept on taking more and more commitments in life and succeeded in everything she undertook. I’m so proud of her. Jaisalmer, India, 2014.
Holy cows! 2. The man and the cow. Jaisalmer, India, 2014.
Holy cows! I’m anxious to leave a world where cows are in the city malls shopping along (bazaar in India). Gandhi loved them too: “Our mother, when she dies, means expenses of burial or cremation. Mother cow is as useful dead as when she is alive. We can make use of every part of her body — her flesh, her bones, her intestines, her horns and her skin.” Which wasn’t that nice for his mommy. Jaisalmer, India, 2014.
The time goes by. And there will always be a train I’ll be missing. Life is like that, you need to make choices, and when they’re made you can’t go back. But who make the choices anyway? That’s the real question. In India, I learned how to miss trains and stop to care about it. Jaisalmer, India, 2014.
I’ve been on the road for a long time. People often ask me for how long I’ve been traveling, I use to say something like, a month, then 6 months, over a year… Now my answer is: “It’s been 33 years”. The little boy at the gas station. Rajasthan, India, 2014.
The little boy at the gas station from close. Rajasthan, India, 2014.
Far away was the fort still rising. We left very early the morning to walk our way towards the desert. A herd of cows followed us for a while, then they stopped. We were leaving everything behind. One last glance over my shoulder. And that was it. We were on own. And now nothing could stop us. Jaisalmer, India, 2014.
The coolest night in the desert. When I say cool, I mean cold. The most freezing wind blowing all night long, cooling your body to the bones, the camels ran away. Pakistan wasn’t that far. Memories of a long extinguished fire, but the stars, yes the stars. Jaisalmer, India, 2014.
The city made of Gold. I was there looking at the man on the top of the fort, but maybe I am this man looking over the birds. Or maybe I am the birds. Jaisalmer, India, 2014.