During our time living in Mauritania, Ahmed invited us many times for dinner to his very humble home where his wife prepared a delicious cous-cous with a few pieces of camel, only when they could afford it after a whole month working on the construction site. He loved spending time playing with his little children and admiring his newborn laying on a plastic carpet on the Sahara's sand. I have met very few loving fathers as him and will never forget his sincere smile. Dunia, he said while we where biding farewell with tears in our eyes.
Only two months before the earthquake on 2015 we were visiting Shiva Temple in Patan, Kathmandu. The protagonist of this portrait was begging at the door of the temple and kept steering at me . I approached him and started trying to communicate with him. After a gentle interchange I asked him if I could take him a picture; "If that's what makes you happy" he said... He never asked me for money after taking this portrait.
It was a very hot day in Yogyjakarta, Indonesia. We were trying to find some shelter walking along the small little streets of this beautiful city when the protagonist of this portrait approached us and invited us to follow him to enjoy a nice city view from the top of some old ruins. The view was spectacular and we spent a wonderful time chatting with him.
The young protagonist of the picture was at the terrace combing her hear with her mum's help for quite a long time. I took my camera and started shooting some pictures. Once I finished I showed them all the portraits of her. They loved them and asked me for a copy but I was never able to give them one. I really like the zipper detail on her sweater!
Are you soon visiting India, Nepal, Myanmar or Mauritania? It would be fantastic if you could help us finding the protagonists of these portraits. There is a map for each one of them showing where the picture was taken. We have also indicated a suggestion on what the protagonist may need. If you find them and help them please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org so we can update the protagonist's needs and contact details. Thanks!
Very few times I have been more intimidated than when I took this picture. We were walking the streets of the beautiful Yangon and stopped to chat with a young guy, who kindly explained us some issues about Myanmar and their recent changes. The protagonist of this picture was the young guy's dad who was seating just besides. He kept looking at me for at least 5 minutes without a single blink of his eyes so I decided to ask his son whether I could take a picture of the old man. I always wandered what he had seen during his lifetime and why he was looking at me on such an intense way.
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Buy a high resolution file of the picture below for at least 4€. This money will be used to help directly communities in India, Nepal, Myanmar or Mauritania via local charity organizations.
Inle Lake, Myanmar
Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
Simi La Pass, Tibet
Inle Lake, Myanmar
Chitwan National Park, Nepal
Dazhai Longsheng, China
Tanjong Pagar, Singapore
Mt. Ijen, Indonesia
What did your deep eyes see, today resting under the shade of those thick and prominent white eyebrows? How big is the faith that took you on a pilgrimage prostrating every step for months, through high and icy mountains to, along with other thousands, join one of the koras around the holy places on the roof of the world? What did you think when you saw me about to faint after breathing for short moments the heavy sulphur from the mine where you work long hours every morning? Do you already belong to the sacred Ganges river?
Thank you for teaching me, infecting me with your life, for sharing your time with me, inviting me to your homes and spending time to chat with this traveller. Tell me, what’s your story?
All images © Contemplate the Planet
Photographer: Javier Pérez-Cuadrado de Santiago