Michael Svec a Photojournalist, Documentary & Fine Art Travel Photographer, who works on assignments in Asia, Africa and Europe. Michael has journeyed the world as a photographer for more than seven years, focusing hir efforts on human rights issues and documenting the traditions of changing cultures around the world.
The haunted and mysterious wasteland between India and Pakistan
Close your eyes and imagine the utter emptiness. A white nothingness — a brilliant, frost-colored land — fat as an ice lake, burning the eyes with its whiteness. Not a bump, not a shrub, not a bird, not a breeze. Nothing but white I every direction, horizon after horizon, on and on for over two hundred miles east to west, and almost one hundred miles north to south.
“This is the Rann of Kutch, the largest area of nothingness on the planet; uninhabited, the ultimate physical barrier, separating India from Pakistan along its far western border. ”
Only camels can cross these wastes, and at terrible cost. During the monsoon season it's a shallow salt marsh, carrying the seasonal rivers of Rajasthan slowly out to the Arabian Sea, just south of the great Idus Delta of Pakistan. Then for months it's a treacherous quagmire of molasses mud under a brittle salt skin. Periods of safe crossing are minimal. Occasional piles of bleached bones attest to the terrors of this place. Tales of survivors, reluctantly told, are unrelieved litanies of human (and animal) distress. There is life out here — herds of wild asses the size of large dogs and vast flocks of flamingoes encamped mud-nest "cities" — but very hard to find.
The different tribal groups that now live in Kutch have migrated there from countries as diverse as present day Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, Turkey, Iran, and other areas in the Middle East and Central Asia.
The textiles of each of these groups evolved through necessity as portable vessels, furnishings, and items of clothing. Each community and tribal group has it`s own lexicon of motifs and embroidery stitches. Other craft techniques, such as batik and beading, have been imported into Kutch through sea trade with other countries.
Photography by Michael Svec