Susan is very thrilled to be one of 20 finalists in the WA Photographic Federation competition 'In My View.' The 2017 theme is Water's Edge
Susan's husband Ray is one of the 20 writers to have his story chosen as a finalist, his story is his interpretation of Susan's image Stepwell Reflections.
The awards night is Friday 15th December.
Ray's story -
A MODEL IN REFLECTION
This is my life-long friend Shara on the right.
My name is Misha.
You'll agree that we do stand out in the crowd when we wear these colourful saris. But they are not our every-day wear.
We worked hard to buy these and the silver bangles you can also see.
You could say that it's our costume for special celebrations and for visitors. Especially visitors, because it is through them that we earn money to support our families.
Those who come to our small village are mostly tourists with a special interest in photography.
They wish to capture the old buildings which go back to the time before the British and they want people in their shots. That's our role.
The organisers of these tours of small groups advise us by post of their schedule. When they arrive in their mini-bus we are already in the “set” ready in our contrasting garments.
Some naively think that we are just there by co-incidence filling our pitchers and balancing them on our heads with the aid of a cushioning ring of fabric.
Others are a little more worldly and recognise the reality of our presence arranged by the operators.
And they do not see the money change hands as it is discretely passed and then deftly hidden in our flowing folds of fabric.
The passengers are without exception kindly and not the least patronising. They ask predictable questions such as: “Is this your every-day dress?” Or “How did you obtain all those bangles?”
Because they see the great number of children not in school they gently ask “How many children are there in your family?”
The big question for us is how do we preserve the illusion.
We explain that our normal day is helping our mother in the home or our father in the field tending to the animals and the crops. The seasons are unpredictable but every year is a good year in welcoming visitors. Only the flooded roads in the monsoon stop the visitors in their tracks.
We are paying for our brothers and sisters to go to school as it is through their education that we can escape the face of poverty. They could qualify for proper jobs and send money home.