Privilege Games!

Late night talk with Prince Erick! They call him “The Minority Nomad”, but in some places, it puts him a the front of the line!

The picture in question!

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I left this image out of my photo essay about the #chalokumbh2019 project. Not because I don’t love it, but because of it’s context. I think we only see subtle examples of locals frustrations with foreigners. An angry gaze here or a snarky comment there. But sometimes the realization that YOU are a nuisance can be startling and surprising. I’ll go into full details tomorrow but here’s the TLDR. After waiting for around 45 minutes to cross the bridge from one side of the Kumbh Mela to another, our group of about 40 journalists were ushered by police thorough a side tent leading to the bridge entrance. I was towards the back of the group and as I emerged from the dark tent into the blazing sun, I locked eyes with this woman. All while she’s trying to climb the barrier in anger. There was a lot of yelling and grabbing, which seemed normal during my visit. But my colleague explained to me what she was upset about. IT WAS US!!! So the bridges at the Kumbh Mela are regulated for safety. Only a certain number of people can cross at a time. One side is closed until everyone crosses. Then it’s opened again. The walk across takes about 30 minutes at a good pace. Once our group of journalist were on the bridge the police wouldn’t allow any locals on. This was surprising to me as there was PLENTY of room for hundreds of others to come as well. This meant not only did they wait at least 45 minutes with us, they had to wait another 30 for us to cross. And this isn’t the first time I’ve seen foreigners/tourists get preferential treatment over locals. Seemed to be quite common in India. And this brought up a bit of guilt in me. On one hand, I had a job to do. And sometimes we need a bit of local assistance to get that done. However, when it’s at the expense of locals comfort I take issue. I’ll explore this more on my blog. What do you all think? Does she have a right to be angry? Have you ever been given special treatment because of your status as a foreigner? Is that ok? #india #photojournalism #local

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If what I wrote helps, send $5 in BitCoin to this address.

It’ll buy me coffee to fuel my mind while I write!

 

 

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~Watt

YusefWateef (at) Gmail (dot) com

 

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