Village Women
Joan Almond on India

In North Africa, I had let the path take me where it wanted. India became more of a defined search: how were these people handling their poverty with a population problem that North Africans did not have? African villages contained hundreds, but Indian villages thousands. The larger the village, the more the identity problem, especially with the caste system which perpetuates inequality. Self-esteem is really what its all about. We take all this for granted in North America, but it is awakening in India. So I focused on Swadhyaya, a spiritual movement which speaks to the very poor, the fishermen, and the farmers of their equality under God; and ASTHA, a social movement which empowers the aboriginal desert women of Rajasthan. These "new" concepts were germinating first in the village, then hopefully in the towns, to flower eventually in the large cities. I tried to capture this inner and outer light in my photographs.
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