HOPE
Lens Magazine|November 2021
As countries slowly start to open up their borders, travel is beginning to bounce back.
JOSÉ JEULAND

It will undoubtedly take a while before we are without all these restrictions. Nevertheless, I am excited to be able to take my inner sense of wanderlust for a spin.

There are a few reasons why I love traveling. Firstly, travel allows me to spend quality time with both my family and loved ones. Secondly, it helps me discover new places, cultures, and homes to return to again.

When I travel, I'm attracted to people's stories and enjoy delving into understanding who they are, how they live, and uncovering the beauty in all of that. My travels allow for my photography and portraits to take on an entirely different level.

INDIA

India - Kumbh Mela: In 2019, the Kumbh Mela, a religious festival in India, attracted a record number of 150 million pilgrims. Also known as the world's largest gathering for the cause of humanity, a Maha (Great) Kumbh Mela is held once every 12 years, with an Ardha (Half) held every six years after the Maha Kumbh Mela.

On 4th February 2019, we were part of the 150 million, all at the same spot. The Kumbh Mela was held in the city of Allahabad. At the confluence of the three sacred rivers – the Ganges, the Yamuna, and a mythical third river, the Saraswati, worshippers bathe themselves in the holy waters that they believed will wash away their sins and deliver them to Moksha, liberating them from a cycle of birth and death and leaving them eternally blessed. It was one of the most riveting events I have ever been part of.

THAILAND

I remember when I initially started photography, black and white was an easier choice for me, and I used it for many years. However, it was only recently I began to tame photography in color. Black and white portraits are excellent reasons for me to deep dive into my archives and get nostalgic. Here I present the archive of my last 4-5 years of black and white pictures.

Thailand was the first country in Asia where I had stayed for a substantial period of time. I was based in Chiang Mai for a few months. I was still a professional athlete. Outside of my training, I slowly began to shoot some street photography and explore the region.

This old man, who was seated on the sidewalk, was the first opportunity I had gotten to take photographs of a stranger this close on the streets. He had been homeless by choice and was carving wood objects, in the form of flowers, bees, butterflies, by hand. During my trip, I had ended up spending a good deal of time with him. I printed this very photography and handed it over to him, only to have his tears well up in his eyes in return.

Chiang Mai, a city in the north of Thailand, is known for its Songkran Water Festival - one of the largest in Thailand.

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