Knowing the Unknown

FlashPhotos from the exhibition taken at night without flash.

French photographer Magali Couffon de Trevros brings to the city a slice of the tribal life in Orissa.

Paroja tribal women from Koraput in Orissa, dressed in bright colourful attires with several nose piercings, dance to drum beats and chants during a three-day festival where tribes from neighbouring villages congregate. On display at Gallerie Romain Rolland, Alliance Francaise, this photograph captured by Bangalore-based French photographer, Magali Couffon de Trevros, is one of the 42 frames which are part of the exhibition "Tribal Lights". These photographs bring out the different facets of tribal life and culture that has left many intrigued, providing the city dwellers an insight into their lesser-known world.

"Parojas follow a matriarchal system, where the men give dowry. The significant decisions are taken by the women," says Trevos. Many of her pictures shot at night are without flash. She says it was deliberate. "The flash is quite intrusive. When I did not use it, the tribals became less conscious that I was around," says 43-year-old Trevros.

She says that before she went to Orissa, people had told her to think twice before travelling, because of the Naxal threat. "But at the end of the trip, I did not feel scared because of the hospitality of the people," she says.

The last exhibit near the hall exit shows the photograph of a yellow board placed at the side of a road in Orissa which has the words "Visit Again" written on it, appearing as if it is appealing the viewer to visit these tribals again, but in their homeland.

The exhibition is on display at Alliance Francaise De Delhi till May 11. Contact: 4350 0200

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