Sam Allison ’06 spent the year following his graduation documenting the changing face of North Indian holy sites. His images capture the incongruities of modern life in an ancient culture. Young monks strut in leather jackets worn over their saffron robes, talking on cell phones while riding their motorcycles. At a cremation site, he took portraits of barbers and wood carriers, of men sifting through ashes to find charred jewelry, of children playing in clouds of smoke rising from the pyres. On this page, he captured an old man in a car parts bazaar in Old Delhi.
Allison, who posts his work under the name “Schüster,” writes: “It occurred to me that a project to document the changing face of North Indian holy sites could never be complete, whether I had a month or a lifetime to pursue it. I feel that all the more acutely now, having returned from a year at the attempt. Instead of a sense of resolution, I’m left with more questions and an almost overwhelming urge to return, to go deeper, to witness with greater clarity.”
His work was supported by a Mortimer Hays-Brandeis Traveling Fellowship.