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Delhi-based photographer working for Afghan refugees in India

New Delhi, Mon, 16 Jan 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Jan.16 (ANI): Gauri Gill, a professional photographer based in New Delhi, portrays the variance between Afghanistan before the Soviet invasion and the existing war-ravaged nation through her lens.


The photographer, who traveled to Afghanistan in 2007 to conduct a photography workshop, took time off to capture the beautiful landscapes, the people and religious places like Sikh temples, also called gurudwaras in the country.


On returning to India, she got in touch with the Afghani Sikh and Hindu communities who were displaced from Kabul to Delhi during the Soviet invasion in 1970s.


She met with an Afghan driver in New Delhi who described Afghanistan as an altogether different land, a nation of extraordinary beauty.


"He described a place with gardens, orchard, mountains, almonds, peaches and waterfalls. I mean a place which is a complete paradise," said Gauri.


Winner of Canada's Grange Prize for Photography, the 40-year-old photographer has traveled the world over to understand the different lines of pursuit and disorientation of individuals from their roots.


Gauri also exhibited her work on Afghan Sikh and Hindu migrants at Green Cardamom Gallery in London.


The exhibit titled 'What Remains' looks at the displacement of the Afghani Sikh and Hindu communities from Kabul to Delhi, over successive waves of migration, to question notions of identity, home and belonging.


Commenting on the repatriation of Afghan refugees, Gauri replied, "Maybe, they will, and maybe they won't. Maybe, they would like go back in an altogether a different time. It is like asking men in India to go back to their homes in pre-partition Lahore."


Repatriation appears more a matter of constraint and of little choice. But with the support of individuals like Gauri, the Afghanis are sure to cherish their stay in India. (ANI)


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