Saturday, August 27, 2011
Grooming In the Streets
As a kid I ran through sprinklers in our front and back yard and would consider that my shower for the day during summertime since I never wanted for the day to end of for bedtime to come. I had never thought about how my silly playtime of running through water sprinklers could be the norm for someone else. On our walk through Historic Ahmedebad, I captured this woman washing her clothes in the street after she had just finished washing her hair. I later saw a man shaving through a window as I walked by. He didn't flinch or look at me. He simply continued shaving as if that happened everyday to him and I was just another person taking his photograph. In Hy Mariampolski's book titled, "Ethnography for Marketers," he discusses that, "Images normally reflect society's strictures of self-presentation and representation, shared forms of perception, and established conventions about what is worthy of being recorded."
So many people in this country groom themselves in the street and from Mariampolski's perspective, it is because the people want to be recorded and remembered that way. Or even a quote from the book, "Mother Pious Lady," describes the grooming of one's hair in India so well: "To oil one's hair in the midst of squalor and despair is for hope to keep its head above the swirling, muddy waters of circumstange; it is a sign that the belief in one's ability to shape one's future still survives." Whatever social class you are a part of, grooming is still a high priority, which was apparent in this picture I captured. This woman used water that was running right into the streets and used that to clean herself. It's such a simple thing that so many of us take for granted and my 8 year old self running through sprinklers could never have fully grasped until now.