Bobbos of Ahun: A Photo Essay


  • Chitrangada Sharma Jawahar Lal Nehru University, Delhi



photo-essay, photo essay, Ahun, gender


‘Bobbos of Ahun’ is a photo essay about women from my paternal family residing in our native village called Ahun, documenting their negotiations within the patriarchal home through stories of everyday struggles and resistance.
‘Bobbo’ is a term of endearment which loosely translates to ‘a little girl’ in Haryanvi while Ahun is a speck in the universe, a small hamlet in the state of Haryana, India. The village is inhabited by families who are dependent on small-scale farming of paddy and wheat along with raising cattle. By photographing these women in their familial space, I look at home as a gendered site where contestations, of labour (visible and invisible), of self and family identity, of longing, belonging and estrangement, of care and neglect, happen every day. I speak about the complex metaphor of home, both as an inhabited space and portable feeling by photographing my grandmother, cousins, sisters, aunts and neighbours residing in Ahun. The photographs narrate stories of these women who remain displaced from the home because of gender roles and fear of community sanctions.