My photographic journeys are very personal. I use my photography to tell many untold stories. Recently I traveled to a small, remote village on the border between India and Pakistan. These mountains are sometimes the worst battlefields between the two nations. Often, both nations use these secluded locations to showcase their military might meanwhile, the stories of fear from the people who live in these obscure villages are not heard.
On this particular journey I traveled to a remote area on the Indian, Pakistan border. As I was walking I noticed the sad face of a woman looking down at me from the window of a very simple wooden house. I entered the house and what I found was a very small room with a small fire in one corner, used for cooking, and the rest of the room was completely disorganized and I don’t think, had ever been cleaned. I soon realized the woman was unable to hear or speak. I tried showing her my camera to put her at ease. Strangers in this area are usually militants or people who bring some kind of threat. She was continually trying to use sign language to communicate to me violence and killing, something she must have experienced most of her life.
Her mother returned to the house and told me her daughter was deaf as well as being intellectually disabled. There was no one else in the family and as she spoke she broke down. I immediately had a sense of how difficult their lives are it was palpable. Her tears moved me and I felt powerless to help other than give her some money that I had in my pocket. As I left I looked back for the last time and saw the daughter looking straight at me. Her face lit up as she gave me an enormous smile that made me feel that somehow I had made a connection and it made a difference to what is a very difficult life. I hope these photos tell the story that there are many forgotten people caught in conflict through no fault of their own while trying to maintain a very meager existence.
Here is the link to picture story.