For five hundred years the holy city of Vrindavan in northern India has been a haven for India's dispossessed widows. Cast out by their families and condemned by strict marital laws which deny them legal, economic, and inextreme cases, their human rights, they have made their way to the city to worship at its temples and live in its ashrams, surviving on charitable handouts or begging on the streets. In Vrindavan they worship the younggod Krishna, who invades their dreams, helping them to cast off memories from their past life and prepare for a new and better life to come. Their dream is to reach the state that Hindu's call 'moksha', where they will be free from the cycle of death and rebirth and live surrounded by their gods forever.
Hindus believe that when a person dies, he or she suffers a death in the afterlife and is reborn. The position in the new life depends on the person's karma. The laws of karma rule that all one's actions are the result of past actions and will dictate one's actions in the future. A person can affect his own karma by his conduct. This cycle of reincarnation based on past actions is called 'samsara'. The ultimate dream is of a release from samsara into a higher state, where one is freed from the world of change and illusion, which is the cause of disappointment and suffering. This state is called 'moksha'. It involves the loss of one's individual identity and absorption into the universal spirit or the absolute.
It is in this universe that Fazal Sheikh, born in New York in 1965 and prize-winner of numerous prestigious awards takes us. He is internationally recognized as a committed artist and he attaches so much importance for the photos as for the narratives which accompany them. His photographer's talent writer allows him to become attached really to these women, not as symbolic victims, but as authentic, named personalities, who come to light in a direct and intimate confrontation.
Web site : www.fazalsheikh.org