COST DETAILS: $3550 (twin share based on 8 participants, including internal flights), $ 940 (Single Supplement), $150 (Tip Kitty)
Scheduled for May 5 to May 18, 2013, The Sufi Saints of Rajasthan & Kashmir will see us documenting the esoteric traditions of Sufism and Islam in Srinagar, the capital of Kashmir, as well as attending the Urs Ajmer Sharif, the largest commemoration of Sufi saints in India, attended by many thousands of South Asian Muslims.
During this photo expedition-workshop, we are planning to attend the Urs Ajmer Sharif, an annual commemoration of the death anniversary of Sufi saint Khwaja Garib Nawaz, and celebrate the memory of Sufi saint Moinuddin Chisti in Ajmer, India. It is the largest commemoration of Sufi saints in India, attended by many thousands of South Asian Muslims.
MULTI-PRONGED: As befits the context of this photo expedition/multimedia workshop, our objectives will be multi-pronged; the primary aim will be to photograph the Sufi traditions of South Asia, the pilgrims and adherents to the Sufi tariqahs who attend the Ajmer festivals, while Kashmir has long been reputed to be the land of Sufi saints. The Ajmer festival attracts the pious and the not-so-pious…the religious and the charlatans, the fakirs and the storytellers.
OBJECTIVES: Emulating real-life photo assignments, the aim of the workshop is to assist its participants produce multimedia bodies of work ready for publishing. Participants will merge their still photography and audio to create compelling narratives. This is largely for color photography, but black & white is certainly an option. Participating photographers will have to own/use portable audio recorders, and have specialized audio-slideshow software (Soundslides) on their laptops.
WHO FOR: The Sufi Saints of Ajmer & Srinagar Photo Expedition & Workshop™ is structured 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.
SUFISM: Sufism is not a branch of Islam, like Shīʿah and Sunnah (Shia and Sunni), but rather it’s the mystical side of Islam—a marked contrast with the restrictive and dogmatic orthodoxy of Wahhabism. It exists throughout the Muslim world and its millions of followers generally embrace Islam as a religious experience, not a social or political one.
HOTELS: The accommodations for The Sufi Saints of Ajmer & Srinagar Photo Expedition/Workshop™ will be resort-boutique hotels, and houseboats.
The Travel Photographer’s Photo~Expeditions™ are best described as a mixture of documentary photojournalism, ethno-photography and travel photography” adventures. As with other previous expeditions, The Sufi Saints of Ajmer & Srinagar Photo Expedition/Workshop™ will include both documentary-style (candid and on-the-run) photography, as well as posed photo sessions with selected people we may encounter.
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 enthusiastic about documentary-travel photography and produces multimedia stories, merging still photography and ambient sound.
His favorite destinations are to South and South East Asia, and is particularly interested in documenting Sufism and syncretic religious traditions of these regions. He’s the founder of the popular The Travel Photographer blog, and is also a faculty member of the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop, tutoring the essentials of multimedia to emerging photojournalists.
Important Notice: The Sufi Saints of Ajmer & Srinagar Photo Expedition/Workshop™ is limited to 8 photographers only. Participation may be subject to a portfolio review.
TERMS & CONDITIONS:
The cost of the expedition-workshop includes photo shoots, editing and multimedia guidance, internal flights (Delhi-Srinagar-Delhi), train journeys (Delhi-Jaipur-Ajmer and back), vehicles in Srinagar and Ajmer, transfer services from airport-hotel-airport, hotel accommodation with breakfast, and local guides (subject to locations). It does not include all meals, any expenses of personal nature, laundry, or any beverages.
The cost of international flights from the USA (or elsewhere) to and from Delhi are not included, and must be arranged so that you are in Delhi at the official start of the expedition-workshop at midday onMay 05, 2013. The workshop ends on the evening of May 18, 2013 in Delhi at 22:00 hours
These dates are firm, however note that the Ajmer Sufi festival is based on a lunar calendar, making it difficult to pinpoint exactly so early in advance.
A deposit of $800 is required to secure a place on theThe Sufi Saints of Ajmer & Srinagar Photo Expedition/Workshop™. This down payment is not refundable once paid because flights have to be booked, and down payments to hotels have to made.
This photo expedition-workshop is not open for starting photographers, nor for first-timers to India. It is for self-starters, comfortable to work in large crowds and already familiar with India.
The Travel Agent
Our travel agent is based in Delhi, and is used by The Travel Photographer for all its photo expeditions in India.
A Note On Our Hotel Accommodations:
We shall be staying in luxury and resort hotels during this photo-expedition. All rooms have attached private baths.
WAIVER OF LIABILITY
I assume no responsibility for accidents or injury to individuals participating in the The Sufi Saints of Ajmer & Srinagar Photo Expedition/Workshop™. You will be requested to read, accept and sign an agreement which releases me from any responsibility of liability in the event of any of the situations mentioned below.
I also assume no responsibility if a traveler is refused entry into a country for any reason. It is the traveler’s sole responsibility to ensure all travel documents are valid and effective. A passport, valid for six months after the intended date of return is required in many cases for travel overseas. Some countries may require visas for US or non-US citizens. Please check with the corresponding consulates prior to leaving. This is the traveler’s responsibility.
I cannot assume any liability whatsoever for injury, sickness, damage, death, loss, accident or delay to person or property due to an act of negligence of or default of any travel agent, hotel, carrier, restaurant, company, airline, or person rendering any of the services included in the The Sufi Saints of Ajmer & Srinagar Photo Expedition/Workshop™, or by act of God, act of war or terrorism. Further, no responsibilities are accepted for any damage, changes or delays due to sickness, pilferage, labor disputes, machinery breakdown, quarantine, government restraints, weather or other causes beyond my personal control. No responsibility is accepted for any additional expense, omissions and schedule changes, forced stopovers, rerouting or acts of any governments or authority. I reserve the right to decline or accept any person as a member of any tour or to cancel or alter the tour without notice. It is also the responsibility of the traveler to keep informed on deposit and payment date requirements. It is highly recommended that all individuals obtain adequate travel insurance.