Monday, 27 September 2010

Andreas Burgess: In The Courtyard of the Beloved

Photos © Andrea Burgess -All Rights Reserved

 I am thrilled to have stumbled on Andrea Burgess' magnificent In The Courtyard of The Beloved, a visual and aural "portrait" of the Dargah of Nizam Uddin Auliyah, a Sufi shrine in Delhi. The shrine is for the revered Hazrat Nizam Uddin, a famous Sufi saint of the Chisti Sect in South Asia, whose main tenet is in drawing close to God through renunciation of the world and service to humanity.

The title of the documentary refers to the title given to Nizzam Uddin by his followers; Mahboub Ilahi or beloved of God. In fact, the qawwali ( style of Sufi devotional music) songs performed at the shrine in his remembrance and praise address Nizzam Uddin as mahboob ilahi.

The "portrait" is made from over 18,000 still images and ambient sounds which were recorded on-site by Andreas... 18,000 still images!!!! Imagine the amount of editing that Andreas had to do!!! It was produced by Sadia Shepard.

The Dargah of Nizzam Uddin is one of my favorite places to photograph in Delhi, and I have a ton of images made in the area, and Andreas' work has given me fresh impetus to spend even more time there when I'm next in Delhi.

I guarantee you'll agree that this is high quality inspirational work, and I strongly recommend it to readers of The Travel Photographer blog, particularly to those who, like me, are interested in multimedia, South Asian Sufism and Indiaphiles. I already sent the link to participants of my forthcoming In Search of Sufis Photo~Expedition™

Very well done, Andreas and Sadia!