India is a land of contradictions;
extremes that often baffle and overwhelm the visitor, positively
encouraging stereotypical images that lurch from the abject
poverty of street life in Calcutta to the grandiose and
historical palaces of Rajasthan yet leave largely unsung
the ordinary yet extraordinary daily life of India.
The images on this site hopefully
offer the visitor a window onto a small part of the vast
spectrum of life that exists between these two extremes;
the space in which the majority of contemporary India exists,
the space in between the hard definitions of glamour and
poverty so beloved of mainstream Western media and the market
analysts of Multi National corporations.
This portfolio of work is a personal
project of photographer Kirsten Geerkens. The images were
taken over a three year period in many regions of India,
but especially in the North Indian hill state of Himachal
Pradesh and the jewel in its crown, the Kulu Valley, also
known as the "Valley of the Living Gods".
For the photographer it's been a long
journey from the flattest place in the known universe -
Dithmarschen on the North Sea coast of Germany - to the
foothills of the mighty Himalaya, the most mountainous region
on earth. The journey has taken in places such as Indonesia,
Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Lebanon, Turkey,
Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and the UK, and jobs as
diverse (and occasionally interesting) as concert ticketing,
cabbage farm labourer, wind energy engineer, computer sales
agent, barmaid, pie factory worker, department store sales
assistant, airline reservations agent, English teacher and
graphic designer. In between she has found plenty of time
for her photographic work.