Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Franck Vogel: The Bishnois

Photo © Franck Vogel -All Rights Reserved

The Canon Professional Nework (Europe) brings us a feature on Franck Vogel's project photographing the Bishnois in India. The project was recently a major cover story for the 30th anniversary edition of GEO France magazine.

This features dovetails quite neatly into my plans for a photo~expedition in early Spring 2010 to South Rajasthan and the Rann of Kutch to cover tribal life (including the Bishnois and Rebaris, amongst many others), and Baneshwar Fair.

Anyway, back to Franck Vogel and his project. In 2006, he began documenting the lives of the Bishnois in India. This tribal group (the article calls it a "sect") bases its way of life on 29 principles formulated in the 15th century by Guru Jambheshwar. Many of these are involve environmental protection, especially protecting trees and wildlife.

It's an interesting read as to how the photographer went about getting access to the Bishnois. I'm certain that Vogel was able to discern the difference between the authentic Bishnois and those who are featured on virtually all the tour itineraries in Rajasthan..especially the rather demeaning and obviously staged "opium"-drinking ceremonies.