It’s entirely possible that I’ve finally found a vocation for my vocation. When I initially decided to become a photographer it was because I wanted to figure out a way to work for non-profit’s in India. Yesterday I took some photos, but I also worked — like manual labor like. For a girl consistently ridiculed for her skinny gangling limbs, general uncoordination and dreamy demeanor, I’ve sustained the belief that I am somehow unfit to do physical work.
It was liberating, shoveling garbage and human and animal feces into buckets and dumping it into a waiting truck in an attempt to clear a huge garbage heap slash human toilet and make it into a communal park space for the slum community. Mind you, my partner in crime was a beautiful four-year old boy (whose stamina far exceeded my own). But I helped, really, and I think my participation inspired some of the local teenage boys to volunteer.
It`s possible I`ve felt more a part of a community in my few days in this slum, than ever before in my life. I feel like I`m learning what community is — really is. And it`s not all peaches and cream — not by a long shot, but when I walk behind Kane into the Sakinaka slum, and children from a hundred ramshackle slum huts are yelling and jumping all over him, my heart feels like it`s flowing over the top. The children here. I can`t explain it. But I know why Kane works his extremely long hours, and deals so patiently with often exasperating situations. I want to dedicate my life to this.
www.dirtywallproject.com is Kane`s webpage for his non-profit. Please check it out.