Walking on Mahatma Gandhi Road seemed like being part of a big never ending real time movie. This is the heart of Dharavi, the heart of Mumbai! My nose was filed with a mix of smells of samosa, chai – and lots of dust. Along the road you can buy everything you can think of. At the end of this inspiring road, I found URBZ’s office. On the second floor of this office that doesn’t really feel like an “office”, a little team of passionate people and visitors are exchanging visions and ideas on how to engage with the neighbourhood in a meaningful way, and how turn the kids into actors in the future of Dharavi. A little further down the road is the Dharavi Shelter. It didn’t take me more than a couple of hours to fall in love with the kids I met there. The light and spirit, the happiness in their faces, even though they live in a place called Asia’s biggest slum. I just came to take photos and learn from Dharavi, but soon enough I was offered to conduct a workshop with the kids with the help of Himanshu and others at URBZ. We divided the kids into groups of 3 and gave them a camera. They showed us their Dharavi. They took us to places we would never have found on our own. This is a selection of the photos they toke. It was a great experience but also way too short. Really hoping to be back in Summer and do this for a longer time. Like a week’s workshop. This is India, I think it will happen.
Lasse Bak Mejlvang, a freelance photographer from Denmark, conducted a day long photo workshop at the Dharavi Shelter and authored this blog post. All photos (except the third one) were taken by children attending the workshop. More photos here and here.