People from the Northeast differ from those in the rest of India culturally, linguistically, genealogically, even historically. A strong European missionary presence in the 19th century not only resulted in a huge concentration of Christians today, it also helped preserve an appreciation for foreign influences. There are many aspects to this like the exposure to Western literature and culture. In addition, the Northeast in parts remains free of the cast system, and there are even some matrilineal traditions.
Knowing all of this had me wonder. How do you create a sense of identity against such a background? How do you fight the stereotypes and labels pinned on you? While portraying young people caught up in this existence with my camera, I noticed universal conflicts: Individual lives set against political expedience. And a desire for change is in conflict with the powerful shackles of tradition. It's a struggle I am very familiar with, so I know how it is subtle and painful at the same time.