Canadian artist chasing the light |📍On the move
There’s nothing like a good cup of tea at the end of the day. It seems to me that chai shops are some of the most democratic spaces in India - serving the laborer to the politician. I walked by this kitschy shop in #Varanasi after a long day in the heat, reflecting on the rarity of such spaces. I slowly moved in, it did not escape me that I was in a room full of men. But no one seemed to mind, I was served a fresh cup of chai before I decided I wanted one, and my cash was refused. Sometimes, and when it is needed, I am struck by the way this place takes care of me. #latergram
Spending time with fishing communities on the lead-up to #worldenvironmentday has taught me a lot about the sustenance that comes from river and water systems and the lives that depend on them. Approximately 400 million people live along the #Ganges, making it the worlds most populated river basin. These communities are intimately connected to this body of water - living, breathing, praying, loving, surviving, and dying along its banks. The health of humans depends upon the health of our waters. Now more than ever we are being called as a species to look at our relationship to consumerism and waste and our future on this planet. We can all do better, for each other, for other species with which we share this small planet, and for future generations who need us to act now. Be the change. @insidenatgeo #Bangladesh #expeditionplastic #planetorplastic
I’ve been on a beautiful journey in Bangladesh with an international, all-female team of scientists who are working with National Geographic and partners to scientifically document plastic waste in the Ganges watershed from sea to source. The team is focused on working with local communities to develop holistic and inclusive solutions to plastic and its detrimental impact on our planet. This has been an incredible adventure - but the most meaningful part for me is connecting with communities who make me believe in humanity and hope for a better future. Here Sumaiaya and her sister Suborna participate in a youth community clean-up in Bhola district. I’m always grateful for the gift of this work. @insidenatgeo @natgeo #ExpeditionPlastic
I’ve been traveling on a lot of trains, planes, and automobiles lately, experiencing extreme temperature and elevation fluctuations. And meanwhile also attempting to offset my carbon footprint (this is a real consideration! ). It’s amazing to observe how the mind travels as much as the body. Staying grounded throughout changing landscapes, weather, timezones, and physical spaces is something I’m constantly striving for - we are always our own ground, wherever our physical bodies might be. Whether you’re an avid traveler, or a homebody (I’m both ), I’m curious to know what the word “grounded” means to you? In the meantime, here’s a little snapshot from a recent trip I was on in Darjeeling. More coming soon.
I’ve been looking up a lot more lately. Finding the beauty in the small things, the way the air smells, the way the light hits the dusty streets, the way my body feels when I breathe deeply and my heart beats just a little bit slower. Being alive is sacred and sometimes you have to slow down to feel the synchronicity of what it means to stand on this earth and tune in. There’s been a lot of loss this past week, reminding us that nothing is given. Be kind to yourself and all those who come into your presence, you never know what tomorrow will bring. These are my thoughts for today. I haven’t been posting a whole lot, because, well, I’m here to keep it real and let you know that sometimes I find it overwhelming to keep up with social media, you feel me? So I’ve been following the cues of my heart, not my machine. I appreciate this community very much and am sending out lots of love✨
I met Aditya, 13, on the street when we were waiting for a rickshaw in Varanasi. He was on his way to the market where he sells random items, including this sparkly light. We got on the rickshaw together heading in the same direction. Me to a warm sustainable meal, him to the market, in 41C weather. We wove through the bustling lanes of Varanasi, passing visions of humanity manifesting in extremes, and he spoke about his family. As we approached our destination, he said: “can I come to stay with you?” There are many things that break my heart wide open, but this was a new one. How could I possibly respond to this question with an answer that would suffice for this tender heart? I couldn’t. And sometimes that’s the most heartbreaking part. We flow in and out of life crossing various souls, and some are profound and shattering, and then you must part. I asked to make Aditya’s picture, and he offered me his light for free. Then we parted ways.
Village life ✨#khyberpakhtunkhwa
Have you ever yearned to buy all the beautiful prints for a reasonable price to support badass femxle visual artists from around the world? Yes? I thought so. Now is your chance during @womenphotograph Flash Print sale. I’m honored to be included (with this specific photograph ) among SO many amazing womxn. Image caption: Simran, 31, walks through the Bandstand area of Bandra in Mumbai, India asking tourists and locals for money. Simran is part of India’s Hijra community, which includes transgender and intersex people. Indian culture has long recognized the fluidity of gender, with a number of demigods in Hindu scripture described as being a third gender. Yet, homosexuality remains taboo and Hijras are often forced to live underground, being ostracized by their family and friends. Link in bio!
International Women’s Day, all day everyday. If you think we live in a world of gender equality and equal rights, you better check yourself, quick quick. In this image, Afghan refugee sisters currently being sheltered in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are pictured with a photograph of their late mother, on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan. The sisters fled Afghanistan when their brother killed their mother over a land dispute. @unwomen states that more than half the women intentionally killed in 2017, were killed by intimate partners or family members. I’m not here to teach, preach, or point fingers but many of us are still not awake to the struggle that women (and gender nonconforming people ) face. We need to start by listening to the women around us. Really listening. In the meantime, here are some sobering facts that we all need to remember: - Women around the world aged 15-44 are more at risk from rape and domestic violence than from cancer, car accidents, war and malaria ( @unwomen ). - 60 percent of chronically hungry people are women and girls ( @unwomen ). - Women make up more than two thirds of the worlds illiterate people ( @unwomen ). - African-American women earn 64 cents and Latina women earn 56 cents for every dollar earned by a Caucasian man ( @whitehouse ). - 62 million girls are denied an education all over the world ( @unfoundation ). - 4 out of 5 victims of human trafficking are girls ( @malalafund ). - 35 percent of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or sexual violence by a non-partner at some point in their lives. Some countries have studies that show up to 70 percent ( @unwomen ). #hyltonout #womensday
My dearest friend @wilrieraphoto took this image of me. I found out he passed away today and I am heartbroken. I met him at a time when I was really struggling. I felt he was one of the few people who saw me, who really saw me. He walked into the room with his bright, light smile and made me feel safe, loved, more hopeful. This is what he shared in every image he made and with each person he met. This picture is how I will always remember him, reflected in me - playful, mischievous, joyful. Rest in love my dear friend. You will be so greatly missed 💗
I recently read one of my favorite books by Tara Westover called Educated. I just couldn’t put it down, her prose read like poetry and nourished me far more than any Netflix evening could. I share a beautiful quote from her book that reminds me of this picture, and how small we all are in the grand scheme of things: ‘there’s a sense of sovereignty that comes from life on the mountain, a perception of privacy and isolation, even of dominion. In that vast space you can sail unaccompanied for hours, afloat on pine and brush and rock. It's a tranquillity born of sheer immensity; it calms with its very magnitude, which renders the merely human of no consequence.’ Outtake for @natgeo in Passu, Pakistan.
Sri Lanka, you do me right ✨ I’ll never stop being in awe of the profound gift of this work. The gift that allows me to so intimately enter the homes and lives of complete strangers, who have literally zero reason to care or trust me, and yet I always leave with a feeling of love and inspiration. Isn’t this how every interaction should be?!
I remember the emotions I felt during this moment, as clear as if it were today. I watched on as my soul friends, in their quiet love space, expressed their union reflected by the sea. Today, on Valentine’s Day, I think not of a day that is meant to commodify and strictly define something divine and infinite. Love manifests in its own space. It is not defined by race, gender, age, class, religion, or borders. And it is certainly not defined by Time. Love is defined by our courage to meet one another as we are; raw, vulnerable, open, and by the energetic pulse of our hearts, colliding. So on this day, I wish that we may all, often, love as expansive, untamed, and free as the ocean. May we meet each lover and friend not with jealousy, possessiveness, or control, but as soul teachers, boundless and endless, uninhibited by time ❤️#whatthehellisvalentinesday
Hi new and old @instagram family. Thank you for joining me and for being a part of my community, all 65k of you. Here’s a photograph I love for your Saturday (or Sunday depending upon where you are ) - women taking up space. I’m always seeking these safe, feminine moments no matter where I am or what I am photographing. Feel free to reach out, connect, and most of all, keep creating. Photographed in Lahore, Pakistan, 2018.
I am humbled to be spending the week in Washington, DC at the @nationalgeographic Storytellers Summit, where some of the most brilliant visionaries meet from around the world. * Like many of us, my ultimate goal when I first began my journey as a photographer was to make impactful and meaningful work with National Geographic - to share unexpected stories of hope and resilience, to connect people. I grew up reading the magazine, daydreaming of one day being able to escape the cold and boring town of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada (sorry mom ). I was hungry to witness humanity in distant places and foreign lands, to learn about the universality of how humans survive and thrive. I’m still just as hungry. * I made this photograph on my first assignment for National Geographic, thanks to @jehanjillani , exploring how small greenhouses are helping farmers in Telangana, India combat climate change. * Thank you to all the editors who have been a part of, and will be a part of, this continuous journey @_mallorybenedict @roseleen @whitneycatherinejohnson @afarrar @jeffheimsath @vaughnwallace @joshbraab @pritheeva
Laughing on out of a year that felt like a giant full moon! This image was captured several years ago at a #Pakistani wedding in Queens, but it encapsulates the energy I am inviting for 2019 - more joy, creativity, connection, celebration, and taking life less seriously. And also, knowing what/who counts and apologising less for making that a priority! Sending out love and good energy to you all for a great year ahead #itcanonlygetbetter
Warning @instagram community, long post ahead: Phew, we made it through Christmas. Congratulations everyone. If you’re at all like me, perhaps you care about the environment, animals, refugees, people suffering from violence, and the state of the world, and you get nauseous by the thought of all the unnecessary and mindless consumption this time of year. So every year, rather than giving gifts and getting angry, I make a donation to an organization I care about and focus on my own ethics/consciousness. This year, I bought a washing machine for a refugee family from Afghanistan who are attempting to restart their lives in California, it cost them everything they owned to get there. (This donation was made via miryslist.org ) *** I chose this cause because it felt personal. This year, I reported in some difficult and devastating places, but the one that shook me the most was an Afghan refugee camp I visited in Pakistan, a camp that has been around since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 when many Afghans fled across the border. These conditions were some of the worst I’ve seen, and rather than have support from their host country, the government of Pakistan has been attempting to repatriate refugees (though it is still unclear how Imran Khan will deal with the refugee issue ), many of whom have lived in Pakistan since the invasion. But where will they go? Back to a country that is still in the turmoils of war?! Back to a place that is no longer home? To California, a place that couldn’t be more distant from the realities and culture of Afghanistan? The image I share here is of a father and son whom I met in this refugee camp located on the outskirts of Islamabad. *** I may have lost your attention by now, but I’ll continue in the comments section on my personal choices at home to elevate the consciousness around the holiday season. *** If any of this is preachy, annoying, uncool, that’s okay. I’m curious to know how you all make the holidays more conscious and meaningful, please comment below! 💗 #Hyltonout
Norma Gutierrez, 25 at the time, holds her daughter, Norma, who was born with microcephaly (also known as Zika ) in a town a few hours outside of San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador. Ms. Gutierrez had no symptoms and only knew of her child's condition when she was born. Her partner receives an income of approximately $150 per month as a plumber and their family receives no remittances. Even if Ms. Gutierrez had known of Norma’s defect, abortions are banned in El Salvador, even in cases of rape or fatal fetal defects. I am taking over @theiwmf feed for the week sharing work from my reporting fellowship in #ElSalvador and #DominicanRepublic. Please be sure to apply by December 31 to @theiwmf upcoming grant opportunity to fund reporting on #womenshealth. #iwmffellows #womenjournos
Honey, 23, originally from #Hyderabad, is pictured outside of the room where they stay in #Bandra, Mumbai. Honey lives among a community of other Hijras behind a train station. The community was once strangers but now they operate like a family — working together, cooking together, and discussing the little things like whose boyfriend is more handsome. From my ongoing series titled “The Demigods of Mumbai”
Bombay mood ❤️
I honestly don’t know what International Day of the Girl Child means, but I do know that every day I’m trying to be better. To be a better woman that can support young girls and make a different world for them so that they have a shot at life, so that they can fight institutional and familial violence, so that they can seek justice, so that their young minds and bodies can be nurtured, so that they can grow into what they dream of being, and so that they can stand tall for everything they are and aren’t. Every damn day girls are brave and courageous and funny and talented and intelligent and so much more than their circumstances. So this day thingy means literally nothing if every single day we aren’t creating a world where these young brilliant minds can dream big and flourish - we have a long way to go. Here girls of the Doom caste, traditionally known as the pig rearing caste, graze pigs in Bardaha village in Eastern Nepal. Pig farming is still considered a dirty job, mostly performed among Dalits (otherwise known as “untouchables” ). Villagers reported having had their pigs killed if they walked near the homes of upper-caste villagers. #bethechange #internationaldayofthegirl
I stumbled upon this couple, about to get married and move to my home country, #Canada, at the #badshahimosque in #lahore a few months ago. The bride looked a little, dare I say stunned, after what I can only assume was several days of rituals and ceremonies during the #pakistaniwedding. More coming soon from #pakistan
Hi @instagram fam, new and old, this is me, Sara, now in Dengue fever recovery. I’ve had a lot of time to reflect and I hope you’ll allow me this space to share some personal thoughts with you. There are two things that being sick makes you understand very clearly and quickly: 1 ) who your friends are, 2 ) you do not always have your sh*t together. There is nothing that tests your emotional and spiritual will more than lying sedentary, alone, unable to move, your only interaction with the outside world being when your brave friend shows up at your doorstep and forces you to the hospital. Here, you just pray you will not vomit on the man caressing his newborn baby who seems to be completely unaware of the elderly patient screaming next to him, who has the same damn virus as you. It is deeply, deeply humbling. Let’s get one thing straight. Dengue is no joke. It’s serious and it can be fatal. I’ve had malaria, dysentery, innumerable parasites and stomach ailments, the result of choosing to live a life predominantly on the road and hopefully, at some point, in the service of a few others (but let’s be honest, I’m the one that benefits ). Is it all worth it, I ask, while I lay in the fetal position, a 20 hour flight from my birthplace, my muscles, joints, and bones clenching with excruciating pain? Damn right it is! And I’ll tell you, the only thing that makes it even remotely worth it, are the people who show up for you. So, to the countless people who broke through my independent “I’ve got this” Western brain and sent me natural remedies and entertainment suggestions, to the people who offered to fly overseas to take care of me, to the friends who showed up to bring me home cooked food, drink tea, and meditate with me, to the doorman who speaks not a word of English but went to the market to buy me the fruit that is meant to heal, I am so deeply humbled and full of love. And to those who were “too busy” with this or that, you’re dead to me. I love you all. Now, back to work, I can’t wait to share more adventures and visions with you. #Hyltonout And ps. my new mantra is DO LESS! #dengueselfportrait #doless #recovery
Eid Mubarak to everyone! I hope your celebrations are filled with faith, love, connection, delicious feasts, and hope @magnumfoundation #fromthearchive #eiduladha #eidmubarak
Did you know that such a place exists in #Pakistan? We wound through the mountains in our open air Jeep, turned a corner, and voila, my jaw dropped. #hunzavalley #attabadlake #shangrila
Goodbye for now #Pakistan. It’s been R.E.A.L. Thank you for introducing me to the warmest hearts I’ve ever met, for letting me breathe in your majestic mountains, for teaching me that there is humility in uncertainty, and for helping me to celebrate my 34th cycle around the sun. It wasn’t easy, you’ve been beautiful, intense, and challenging. You’ve taught me so many lessons that I will hold close. Ps. I’m 35 now so I don’t care if I look like a tourist.
That sweet surrender #ontheroad
Each time I return to #Rajasthan it reminds me of my first real love, a man whose religion and tradition wouldn’t accept me. I return again and again to this state in Northern #India, and each time it becomes more my own. I understand it now as a place that fills my heart with quirks and culture rather than a longing for someone who could never be.
Biki Malavath holds her great-granddaughter, nicknamed Milky, the youngest member of Laxmapur Thanda in Telangana state.
I’ve been grappling with how to post about women’s day. With so much stimuli and black and white platitudes, one can easily get lost in the noise. But then I got quiet and went back to the beginning. Since I was a wee thing, the concept of “woman” and “man” just didn’t sit right with me. I aligned with people who understood the concept of gender and sex as something fluid, something deeply personal, and something of the spirit rather than the physical. I completed a Masters degree looking at how women can be killers in wartime, just as men can. So today, more than any other day, I believe women’s rights equally include men healing the “feminine” sides of themselves and women healing the “masculine” aspects of themselves. In this #metoo era, I have seen so much anger and hatred towards men. This is not a woman vs. man issue and those who think that it is, miss the point entirely. We all need to heal ourselves deeply, wholly, and in an integrated way, and only then, as man, woman, male identifying, female identifying, gender fluid, non-binary, intersex, trans, anything in the middle humans, can we begin to talk about “women’s” rights. #Hyltonout Pictured is Darshani, 41, of the #Balmiki #caste, praying in her home in #Bhapur, #Haryana, India. “I bought the gold I wear for myself…and I own this house.” After two years of physical abuse by her drunken husband, Darshani left towards her mother’s village, took out a loan, and did agriculture work to build her own life and raise her two children. After thirteen years, her husband has pleaded for forgiveness, sobered up and supports their kids in striving for a better future.