Giacomo Cattaneo is a Swiss doctoral student in innovation management. He is a passionate traveller, and had the chance to travel for 8 months around the world before heading into his doctoral program. Giacomo now supports through his photography the education of hundreds of girls in the rural region around Pushkar (Rajastan – India) through the Foundation Fior di Loto, a magical place where one of the pictures selected for Tekuma was taken.
We are very fortunate to have him sharing some of his stories with us. He has selected 5 pictures to be part of a collection of “moments”, for which he wanted to share a bit of background with us:
“In the one with the kid peeking out of the doorway, I had been biking off the road in the rural outskirts of Yangshuo (China) to evade the masses of tourists following the beaten track. When I arrived in this village, I found a couple of kids sitting idly in an empty classroom – until we found a way to have fun: rock-paper-scissor! I miserably lost. While leaving I briefly turned around to look at the classroom where they had waiting for their teacher. The little curious girl was still looking out for me, so that we could one last time wave our hands.”
“In the one with the man in the water, we are seeing the Golden Temple of Amritsar, one of the holiest for the Sikhs in Northern India. I went to the temple 3 times – it’s a fascinating place, resounding with liveliness and spirituality. However, I got no picture of his liking. The last evening, as I was leaving, I saw this old man with a blue turban and a small kirpan (dagger) on his shoulders, right in line with the temple and the sunset. To capture the moment I almost fell into the water – my bag did!”
“For the one with the kid and grandma looking out the valley of Ghandruk (Nepal), I had just climbed 300m of stairs from a village below and was pretty worn out. Nevertheless, this kid came up from the same trail and kept on jumping around as if the climbing had just been a daily game – which might as well be! Me – and his grandma – did not think so.”
“For the picture with the flamingo in the water, I had just been blown away by surprise. I knew I was going to travel to the different lagunas in the Bolivian highlands, and I expected amazing landscapes of multicolour rocks and snowy peaks. Little did I know that hundreds of pink flamingos were dotting such lagunas, creating a surreal landscape of peace and natural beauty.”
“For the one with the brother and sister playing with water – my favorite picture – we are on the side of the lake in Pushkar, India, sacred for the Hindus and the only water body dedicated to Brahma. I was there with locals enjoying a nice day in the sun while the kid was intent upon washing himself. When his sister arrived, the “chore” of washing became more of a water battle between the two, and their joyful expressions are probably one of my favorite moments of the whole trip.”