In Search of The Sufis of Gujarat Photo Expedition

COST DETAILS : $2810(twin share based on 5 members), $540 (Single Supplement), $180 (Tip Kitty for fixers, driver, etc)

The In Search of Gujarat’s Sufis Photo Expedition scheduled for January 30-February 13, 2011 is ideal for photographers interested in documentary photography, ethno-photography and multimedia, and for those ready to create visual projects from their inventory of photographs, and learn how to control story length, intent, pace, use of music and ambient sound, narration, field recordings and interviews.

West Gujarat, part of its Rann of Kutch and its southern peninsula are the main areas of our exploration on this photo expedition. It will include Ahmedabad, a bustling city founded in 1411 by Sultan Ahmed Shah to serve as the capital of the Gujarat Sultanate, and a repository of Islamic traditions and shrines.

As befits the context of this photo expedition, it will be multi-pronged; one will involve photographing tribal life as practiced by the Banjara, the Gowdia and Garacia, the Rabaris and the Jats in western Gujarat, around the town of Bhuj, Dasada and Balaram. Another will involve photographing and document the hijras at the famed Bahucharji temple, while a main objective will be to document the syncretism between Sufi Islam and Hinduism in various shrines and sacred sites in Gujarat’s southern peninsula. Many of the Sufi dargahs in the area are also pilgrimage sites for Hindus, thus weaving age-old disparate traditions into one. Another interesting site is the dargah in Mehsana where trances are performed by pilgrims of both persuasions.

RESULT: The Possessed of Mira Datar Multimedia Audio Slideshow.

Tewfic El-Sawy is The Travel Photographer, a freelance photographer who specializes in documenting endangered cultures and traditional life ways of Asia, Latin America and Africa, has been organizing and leading photo expeditions since 2000. He’s passionate about documentary-travel photography and produces multimedia stories, merging still photography and ambient sound, as well as musical soundtracks. His favorite destination is India, which he visited no less than 16 times. More information is available at WHO IS THE TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER?

Important Notice: The In Search of Gujarat’s Sufis Photo Expedition is limited to 5 photographers only (excluding the leader). It is not for first timers to India, nor for starting photographers. It is for those who seek to document tribal life in Gujarat and are genuinely interested in exploring (and learning) the various layers of syncretism between Sufism and Hinduism. It is also not for the faint of heart as we will be visiting sites that may have rituals that could be disturbing to some. Participation will be subject to a portfolio review.