If you are reading this, you’re probably interested in my portrait project: Descendants of Indenture. Thank you so much for your interest, it’s so very appreciated. I’m a writer and photographer, and also a descendant of indenture so this project is near and dear to my heart.
Here is the basic information about my project:
I’m looking to speak to and photograph South Asians who are descendants of indenture. This includes South Asians from the United States, Trinidad, Jamaica, the UK, Fiji, Mauritius, Canada and elsewhere. If you are South Asian and are a descendant of indenture, I would love to speak with you! This is a personal project and I am doing the research and travel on my own. My project is about documenting the legacy and personal memory of indenture.
I’d like to photograph and speak with descendants of indenture of all ages, but I’m particularly interested in speaking with people who have older relatives with memories of their older relatives – whether it be their grandmother or older uncle who was born into indenture. Indenture ended 100 years ago, so of course these links and memories are difficult to find, but at the same time, indenture is still very much with us. This project is about how we feel about indenture, but also about family histories and documenting our (sometimes purposely) forgotten history. People who have direct knowledge of indenture are unfortunately no longer with us, but their memories, their photos, their heirlooms may still be around. I’m looking for these histories and I’d like to document them.
It would be wonderful if you, or someone you know (maybe an older relative?) who is also a descendant of indenture, might be interested in talking about their family histories with me and also being filmed while interviewed and having their photographs taken, portrait-style.
To be clear, the crux of the project is simply photographing descendants of indenture. You may not know intricate ancestry information, and you may not have access to where exactly your family is from. That’s okay, and that’s the messy history of indenture – erasure – which is a huge part of it. I do not know exactly where my family is from. Personal heirlooms or historical photos are not necessary, but rather, as a descendant of indenture, an interest in participating is all you need. Memories or personal histories are not as important as how you feel about the legacy of indenture. We can talk about that instead, if that’s easier or more instructive.
If this is something you’d be interested in (speaking about yourself, your family, being filmed as you speak and having your portrait taken), please let me know. I am only in the fact-finding stage of my project, and I’m trying to talk to as many people as possible. If you’re interested, sometime in the near future we’d arrange a phone call or a skype session to discuss it further. Thanks again for your response and I hope to hear from you.
I live in Florida, and I can travel to you. For now, I’m concentrating on New York City but will eventually document people in Canada, Trinidad, Guyana, the UK, Fiji, and other places as the need arises.
Please include your name and location in your response, and send your response (if any) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your time and participation are a gift, so thank you.