Stories from the Field: Profiling the Indicorps Fellowship Environment
Indicorps Fellows are young people of Indian descent who seek to reconnect to the land of their heritage through service work. Inspired by Gandhian ideals of simple living and the idea of “being the change”, Fellows put aside mainstream life to experience a year of integrity and purpose. For their Fellowship year, Fellows are dispersed across India to work alongside grassroots NGOs and the community members who are working together to confront intractable local problems. As a group, the Fellows are energetic, idealistic, and committed to challenging themselves; in summoning the courage to confront the world so directly and honestly, they are, to me, unquestionably inspiring.
Fascinating personalities, events, and challenges coincide to make each fellowship year unique. But all Fellowships seem to take place in a similar type of environment: a remarkable space where Fellows, their co-workers and their communities dedicate themselves to real problems through sharing ideas, support, and inspiration. My intention in displaying the following photographs is to share the Fellowship space widely, as a way of suggesting active ways in which real people are living their ideals and inspiring each other.
Taken over a series of three-day visits to project sites, these photos are far from representative of any individual year-long Fellowship, let alone the entire Indicorps Fellowship. Instead, they reflect some of the situations that the Fellows have found themselves in, some of the people the Fellows have found themselves surrounded by, and some of the challenges the fellows have attempted to overcome. To me, what they suggest most is the accessibility of creating change. If seeing the Fellows doing the simple things that make a big difference inspires readers to take on change in their own communities, so much the better.
About the Photographer
Jordan Bower was an Ultimate Frisbee Intern with Indicorps in 2008. His photography portfolio lives at www.jordanbower.com.