A series of photographs made in and around the Dhal-ni-Pol district in the old part of the city of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

A photographic document of the everyday richness and heritage embodied in the small street traders and shopkeepers. The series also attempts to acknowledge and navigate some of the prejudices and romantic conceits often associated with a certain type of street photography.

The title – Silent Dialogue – refers both to the visual information within the photographic image, and to those gestural attempts at communication people often resort to when they don’t speak a common language 

Using a slow and formal photographic approach, the process and ritual of being photographed became a meeting point between photographer and the subject. For the subject, it was an invitation to present themselves, within very familiar surroundings and to meet the camera’s gaze – Each photograph is created in partnership – the success of any image being reliant on the openness and generosity of the subject in engaging with the process

In making the photographs, the initial communication was polite and perfunctory: seeking permissions and outlining project context.  Directing the sitter and preparing the photograph was mainly gestural. Text came from later conversations that invited further context and personal insights.

An unintended consequence of this slow process was that often the camera set-up was seen as an open invitation for others to get into the frame. In many instances, the photographs evolved in front of the lens; the camera frame setting the boundaries of an impromptu stage set where the compositions simply unfolded