Photographer Ross Fraser McLean has done a fair amount of intrepid travelling throughout Russia, Mongolia, China, Japan, Lebanon, America, Cuba, Turkey, France, Germany, Spain, Slovakia and Hungary. So it was no surprise that Ross visited North India last year.
As Ross puts it, he wanted to experience India’s diverse culture, the cities, the countryside, the desert land. It didn’t quite work out like that…
On day one, he made a snap decision to go with a friendly snake charmer who promised him the chance of meeting a whole community of snake charmers, the Sapera Caste.
The charmer stuck to his word, but rather than being just 10 minutes away as he’d told Ross; the tiny remote village was actually a staggering 3 and a half hours away, in the middle of nowhere. Ross was well and truly stuck and held captive for the next 3 weeks, until his fortunate escape.
Ross talked about his ordeal for the first time in public at Creative Dundee’s inaugural Pecha Kucha Night – you can watch this presentation below or here. Since then, Ross has been featured on BBC and even the Express!
This exhibition, Charming Snakes, presents the stunning images from that time; which offer his personal insight into this mysterious and dwindling community who have been living on the extreme fringes of society since their proud tradition of Snake Charming was outlawed by the Indian Government.
Charming Snakes – Snake charmers of the Sapera Caste and the Parvati Valley disappearances
Where: Hannah Maclure Centre, University of Abertay Dundee, Top Floor, Abertay Student Centre, 1 – 3 Bell Street, DD1 1HP
Preview: Friday 10th Feb, 6pm-9pm. There will be two screenings of a specially made documentary (with Nathan Brake) about McLean’s experiences in India, commencing at 6.30pm and 7.30pm.
Exhibition runs: Monday 13th Feb – Friday 27th April 2012 (gallery open Monday – Friday / 10am-5pm)
Find out more about the exhibition on Facebook.