Photographer's Note

B&W -22

Vanasthali School

This young tribal girl from South Gujarat has just got be one of the best young actresses I have ever encountered – and I have encountered many in my working life – she was just brilliant!

The scene – having just done a little song and dance performance of our own – (myself and my five friends) – this girl limps into the space we’ve left in front of an audience of hundreds. She moans and complains like an urban beggar – the audience howls – the emptiness of the countryside fills with the sound – even with our limited Gujarati we all recognise the encounter from our own multifarious experiences in Indian cities – how she knows and has observed this so well is a little mystery - she must have travelled to Surat, Mumbhai or Ahmedabad and seen them there.

The laughter towards this old beggar woman almost seemed cruel at one point but it is a powerful point being made to these young tribals – many adivasi are drawn into marginal lives in city outskirts and slums – these vibrant young people deserve more for their integrity. Their education – academic and practically based is preparing them for a more self reliant rural or urban life – they grow their own food, study hard, make their own tools, play, laugh, sing, drum and dance together (and with their teachers) – a fantastic school that stays warmly in the hearts of all it’s visitors.

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Additional Photos by Kev Ryan (KevRyan) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1784 W: 193 N: 5128] (22956)
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