art snaps travel

Gunehar Diaries: #3 – Turning into a sniper

I am well now. Just a bit of coughing, that should go away soon. I hope. I found an unused wooden plank, painted a signboard and put it up in my “shop”.

Yesterday, I also setup a tripod in the shop and shot like a sniper from a fixed vantage point.

The idea, for one of the 3 minute stories that I plan to create, is to combine actions taking place in a limited frame, shot over multiple days, and give it a structure in a way that a seamless story evolves – without any interviews or voice-over. This sounds as complicated as it would be to execute. But worth trying nevertheless. From just few hours of doing my sniper thing, I got one very interesting piece of action.

Now that I am well again, I have resumed the process of hanging out in general and letting the villagers get familiar with me. The villagers are super friendly and love to talk. And I love taking their pictures. As you can see.

Gunehar’s favourite spot in market to hang out. Especially in evenings.

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Howmuch – a pop artist based out of London, smiles during a work-break. Kaki is apparently lost in deep thoughts about how the Kangra painting that she is working on, would come out eventually.
One of the Kangra painters from Himachal (working with Kaki) waits for his chai. He would be part of one of the video stories (3MS).



Terra (extreme right of photograph) and the village children outside Bluehair’s artshop.
Bluehair and her balloon. Children and their balloons. There is a balloon for everyone.


Why are the balloons sperm shaped?, I asked Bluehair. Oh fuck, didn’t realize that, she replied.


Because of my fever, I could not shoot farmers cutting wheat from their fields. Now that I am well, everyone is already done cutting off the wheat.

I had become friends with one farmer – let’s call him Vishnu. He works in Chandigarh but had taken few days leave to be with his family, so that he could help in the whole wheat harvesting job. I have some interesting conversations that I had with him, on camera. He told me how women and girls worked more in this village than men (men feel shy to do agricultural work), how he wished he could be in his village only if there were enough jobs, his possible engagement and so much more. But the only footage that I have of him, other than him talking is when he was packing up the hay and loading the wheat in a truck. It would have been so awesome to have shots of him working in the field and carrying the load from the fields to the place where sieving happens. Will see what I can create from whatever little I have.

Another villager approached me as I was sitting in my shop and shared a lot about his life. Pretty juicy stuff for first meeting – how his first wife had an affair and dumped him, the reasons why he doesn’t like his father, a foreigner who has promised to adopt his children and take them to England and things like that. Need to listen to more stories. Need to shoot more. Things are getting interesting by the day. Will get back with more dope soon. Everyone in the village is now waiting for some rain. Getting too hot during the day.

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