Road to Kashi

Centro Hispano-Americano de Cultura de La Habana, Cuba



Hindu legend says that if you die in Kashi and you are incinerated in the Ganges River, the reincarnation cycle is broken and the soul goes straight to paradise. Kashi or Varanasi as it is also known, is one of the seven sacred cities of Hinduism and is considered the world's oldest inhabited city. It is located on the banks of the Ganges and thousands of pilgrims get purified from sins plunging into the waters of the river.


He has made two trips to the holy city, and along the northern India, the Spanish photographer Pablo Tarrero. Inspired by reading two books The scent of India, Pier Paolo Pasolini and White Tiger, Aravind Adiga, Tarrero launched in 2008, first, 2012, then two separate trips into the fascinating Asian country, on a very personal journey, in which he brings together the intimate experience, the route as a path in search of knowledge and a artistic and cultural concept, through photography, “Is actually photographing others, in this case indians, to talk about myself“.


Pablo is then revealed as a photographer of human geography, the landscape that interests him is the one of the man and his immediate impression, therefore avoids the folkloric and tourist vision. Hence the absence of stereotypes in his pictures, such as dancing cobras, elephants and Taj Mahales. With some technical risk, mixing the use of black & white with color, passing shots, faces of men and women, prints on the walls, a pediment, a dog or an abandoned car, a corner of a temple which highlight the man and his imprint, not the monumentality of the architecture itself. Is the anti-epic vision, at a very human scale, from the traveler-photographer who goes in search of detail, in a territory where the sacred, the divine and ancient, seem to swallow the individuality of the soul, the daily scale.


An unusual journey, started in a remote Pakistani desert and traveling through the Hindu north until reaching the sacred city, keeping in the pupil the sacred and the profane, eroticism and religion, the human faces and the characters of the thousands of deities in an India that, due to its legendary history and culture, continues to be the cradle of civilization as well, as Road to Kashi shows.


Ernesto Sierra

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