Not knowing what lay beyond the fence I ignored the warnings not to enter the camp alone. Give me 15 minutes. If I’m not back in 15, then come find me.
As I watched the rugs sway between the shadows, eyes peered out from inside the sheds, curious to know what a Chinaperson was doing in their camp and what she was photographing.
In the background one woman waved to me and beckoned me further inside the camp.
I stopped in front of her doorway. Come inside, she motioned. I followed her inside where I found a few blankets on the dirt floor, empty jugs of water and her children. She opened the bathroom-- no water. We go in the kitchen-- no water. She takes me outside and points to the water tank. Toys and clothes were stored in there. No water.
Do you see, she asked?
Yes. I see you. A woman struggling to exist in a world that has forsaken her. Just as I had seen her, she saw me as a witness to her existence, that her life mattered.
Picture, the children shouted, take a picture of me!
It was from this experience that the EYE SEE YOU Project was inspired.