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Pages of Barren Mountains

Kids from Hemya.jpeg


Being a graduate of Literature, I’ve been under the influence of art for many years. Be it a classical piece by Frédérick Chopin or a painting by Edgar Degas, my inspirations have never been limited to a particular art form.


Keeping in mind the depiction of life, I try to photograph in the realm of Mimesis. I document mostly people and the environment they live in.

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Kids from Hemya - photo part of the project


The paradox of travel is the anticipation of the unknown and yet the unpreparedness in the face of uncertainty. Places and people reveal themselves in mysterious ways and for photographer Amaan Ali, this series is a fortuitous exploration of a distant world beyond. 


There is no cell phone connectivity in Hemya, Ladakh. A small village tucked along the winding roads of Changthang, Ladakh, Hemya is home to about 50 families. The quaint village sits on the banks of the river Indus at 12,000 feet. Hidden between the majestic barren mountains and the sparse green valley full of poplar trees, life in Hemya wafts like its soft desert winds. 


On the face of it, Hemya is an idyllic village. But once one goes deeper, grandmothers recall a time when life was lifeless in their eerily quiet homes. Parents and kids were forced to leave for the city for better education. But the pandemic brought a wave of peculiar relief for the elders. The parents were compelled to return home due to job losses. The kids, who had stayed in the city for years, were uprooted from their schools, friends and lives. 


In this series, Amaan documents their 'post-pandemic' lives. The series shows the complexities of emotions that the different generations experience as they resume their new lives. After two years of no school, the kids find joy in their village with the strangeness of being back from the city and the curiosity of the world beyond. This is juxtaposed with the grandmothers’ recalling of the loneliness of the past. Their lives and minds are contained within their secluded village, cut off from the rest of the world. 


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