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Christine Norton
Humanist Photographer

christine@christinenortonphotography.com
www.christinenortonphotography.com
868.474.7922

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Christine Norton Photography

SOUL OF VARANASI, INDIA

A 4am wake up call is startling but in Varanasi, its the start of a normal day and well worth the effort. I worked my way through Rajasthan in India just to have the experience of being in Varanasi as the city woke up. It seemed that everyone was heading down to dip in the cool waters of this holy River.   In 2017, the court in India ruled that the Ganges and Yamuna rivers and their related ecosystems had “the status of a legal person, with all corresponding rights, duties and liabilities … in order to preserve and conserve them”.  This made going to the Ganges doubly important for me.

My experience of photographing Hindu believers dipping in the River Ganges as the sun rose was absolutely captivating. There was a kind of sisterhood and brotherhood, a calmness and spiritual energy mixed with colour and smiles.  Despite the arrival of tourists like myself, I had the feeling of tremendous authenticity about their behaviour and practices.

“It came as no surprise some of the exhibitors at Chi had already gained recognition abroad and had also deployed their skill abroad, like Christine Norton’s photographs from Varanasi, an 11th century city on the banks of the Ganges.” {Martin Daly, Sunday Express, Trinidad, 5 August 2018)

Varanasi and its ghats, represent the heart of an 11th century city,  which according to Hindu legend is more than 5,000 years old and is considered the oldest city in the world. Against this historic backdrop, my photographs seek to capture what in reality is everyday life in Varanasi. The feelings and emotions of the people, their practices, the colour and hope that I have to share with the viewer that unforgettable experience that starts a day in peace.

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