French Photographer Saskia Patel Fell n Love With Jaipur From The 1st Click
- JWB Post
- December 23, 2016
Creativity is in the air at photographer Saskia Patel’s studio. A laptop rests on the tabletop with numerous awe-inspiring photos on display, captured by this French photographer, the multi-talented bahu of Jaipur.
As JWB is preparing for the interview with Saskia, she seems a little curious. She asks that what the interview will be about. After hearing our answer that the interview is actually a conversation about her life, love, and anecdotes of her time in Jaipur, Saskia appears to be convinced.
JWB: From the Eiffel Tower to Hawa Mahal! Tell us about your journey in the Pink City.
Saskia: I visited Jaipur for the first time around six-seven years ago. Boy! I was pleasantly surprised when I came to Jaipur and started exploring the city. I absolutely fell in love with this place. The city is synonymous with the old heritage of India.
JWB: Ahem Ahem..And with a certain person from Jaipur as well?
Saskia: (laughs) Yes my husband is from Jaipur and I met him when we were both studying in London. Before settling down permanently, I have been visiting Jaipur regularly.
Since renovating work is going on in her studio, a couple of decorators walk in with measurement tapes. “Abhi nahi Gopal Ji, thodi der baad.” Well, her hindi does seem to be surprisingly fluent.
JWB: Since photographers are good observers, what are the things that you have to say about the women of this city?
Saskia: I saw the courage. I know a woman who had the courage to say that ‘I want a divorce’ after her relationship with her husband had worsened. And she is now completely self-sufficient.
In the meantime, Saskia shows us some of the photos that she had clicked and all of them are nothing short of visual treats.
JWB: These photos are really beautiful. What is the theme of most of your photographs?
Saskia: Apart from street photography, I really like to take photos of jewelry. Since I studied fine arts, I have a flair for different crafts too. You can see more on my website.
JWB: Tell us about your experiments in photography?
Saskia: I have experimented with perfume bottles. All my creations were made of perfume bottles. The exhibition was titled “Parfums de Voyages” and was a series of photographs inspired by fragrances that invite us to travel through exotic lands and dreamy, poetic, playful scenes. In one of the pieces, I had built a mini structure of a red light area in Amsterdam, to show the plight of women living there.
JWB: Oh…That sounds really interesting! Getting back to your story, tell us more about your experience of getting married in an Indian family?
Saskia: I consider myself really lucky being a part of this family since art and creativity run in their blood. My in-laws are like the best people in the world and apart from my husband, who is also an artist, my father-in-law is a sculptor. They welcomed me with open arms.
JWB: No doubt your family in France miss you. How do they feel about Jaipur?
Saskia: Oh, they have visited Jaipur many times since my marriage, and you have to see the rapport that they share with my husband’s family. Jaipur is just like home to them.
JWB: As a woman photographer, have you ever faced any difficulties in Jaipur?
Saskia: I don’t think so. The people are very co-operative here and don’t make any objections.
JWB: What are the issues do you think that are hindering women from growth in Jaipur?
Saskia: Being traditionally a male dominated society, women still have a long way to go for asserting their rights. Education is the real game changer here which is evolving the living status of women. However, there has to be an initiative on our part too.
Saskia: I have often met girls who seem to completely accept the fact that they have no say in life and it is their parents who will decide their future. This attitude needs to be changed. The girls need to understand that their future is in their hands.
This article was first published on October 1, 2015.