Let's Explore Empowerment with Carly Clarke
The project’s title, Godhūlikāla, is a Sanskrit word that translates as “cow dust time”, referring to twilight or evening time, when cows returning from a day’s grazing would cause a cloud of dust to rise up from the ground. These elderly people are in the twilight of their lives.
As we go through life, decline and weakness can seem an inevitable part of ageing. But as Carly Clarke explains, we bear a responsibility to look after those who have gone before us — and photography, storytelling and an open heart can help us to look anew at our elders.
Carly Clarke is a documentary and portrait photographer whose work is concerned with social and political issues that may otherwise go unnoticed. She often develops her projects through talking to the people she is photographing and creating a narrative from the pictures and interviews. When she was diagnosed with cancer nine years ago she turned her camera on herself and documented her illness, treatments and eventual recovery. In a grim coincidence, her younger brother was diagnosed with the same type of cancer seven years later. She added his story to hers and widened the project to encompass both of their struggles with the disease and its treatments. The body of work published here investigating the treatment of elderly people in India was made over four months in 2014. Her work has been exhibited and published by the BBC, The British Journal of Photography, A Portrait of Britain, Portrait Salon, International Photography Awards and the National Gallery.
According to HelpAge India, the main elder rights advocate in the country, half of India’s elderly people experience abuse from their own children in some form during their lives.
According to HelpAge India’s latest report (June 16th, 2014 ) there had been a spike of some 50 percent in reported cases in 2014 when compared to the previous year.
BBC Radio 4, Crossing Continents: India’s Living Dead. The documentary looked at people in India who had been declared dead by their own families in order to release property and money.