André Wagner


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Tradition in step

In Vrindavan, the place where Krishna, for his followers the incarnation of the Supreme, spent his childhood as a cowherd more than 5,000 years ago, hundreds of pilgrims set out every day on the many kilometers long circular route (parikrama). On the occasion of the Holi festival, their number multiplies to several tens of thousands. The crowd is in step and nothing can stop them and their traditions. A scholar steps out of the crowd and looks at two young men who, like intruders from another time, are leaning against their motorcycles with cell phones, wristwatches, jeans and plaid shirts.

The eternal cycle

Every day, pilgrims are on the move here. Like a gigantic clock, the colorful mass makes its eternal round in time. The two observers seem incongruous, as if they had been placed there. And somehow they are. They still seem like foreign bodies and yet they represent the new, the modern India. Modernity opposes tradition, which, in the form of the sadhu, keeps a critical eye on the unknown.

No time for stagnation

The individual blurs in the movement and is lost in the sea of colorful robes and movement. Time, however, does not stand still, never.

What will remain? This photograph!

Tradition and the New World, a contradiction? In a way, certainly yes. But hasn't that always been the case? Paradoxically, here the status quo is in motion, while modernity remains. The eternal contest between the familiar and the unknown new touched souls yesterday and will continue to do so tomorrow. This photograph captures with powerful colors the flow of time, and in it a very special moment.

André Wagner


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