Kathryn Obermaier March 10, 2010Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in India.
Ashray School. Varanasi, India 2009
Kathryn Obermaier (b. 1978, USA) is a freelance photojournalist currently based in New York. She is a graduate from The International Center of Photography’s program in Documentary and Photojournalism, and has a Bachelors in Fine Art from The University of New Mexico. Kathryn attended the Eddie Adams Workshop in 2007, and was chosen for the Associated Press award for her project on Cheerleaders. During her time at ICP she interned for both Suzanne Opton and Lori Grinker. Before moving to New York she worked at the Santa Fe Photographic workshops, working with a variety of photographers, such as Sam Abell, Steve McCurry, and Dennis Keeley. Kathryn is currently working with an NGO in India documenting the lives of the students at the Ashray School in Varanasi, as well continuing her personal project documenting various athletes throughout the world.
About the Photograph:
“This portrait is part of a series of class portraits taken at the Ashray School in Nagwa, a small village near Varanasi, India. Nagwa is home to migrants and “caste-less” families, a place where poverty was the only option. The Ashray School was created to give these families the opportunity for an education. Part of going to school in the United States was the yearly act of getting individual portraits, documenting that time in a young child’s life, the photographs were usually contrived and cheesy, but they were a record of that child, at that moment in time. I choose to focus mainly on their faces eliminating distraction, or clues to their surroundings, leaving only the details of their faces to tell their stories. Through portraiture and documentary work I focus not only on individual stories, but also the stories of this village as a changing community witnessing the lives of these young children change with the simple act of receiving an education.”