In October 2015 we had the chance to do the Kamerakidz-project at a very special place with special children: We were working with the young monks of the Dubdi Monastic School in Yuksom/Sikkim. 18 Boys from 7-15 years attend the gouvernment school which is approx. 1,2 km steep up the mountain in a thick forest. They live in a hostel with their warden. Daily the principal and a teacher come up to teach them. The caretaker from the monastery building next to the school visits them from time to time. No-one else. So they live in a quite small area together with not many people for distraction. The 14 boys from Yuksom-village usually go home on sundays, the 4 boys from Ribdi (5 driving hours away) only go home 3 times a year for the holidays. Most of the children are from poorer families.
2 weeks I went daily to meet them, hand out cameras, collect them, gave them instructions and lay an emphasis on documenting their special lifestyle. They never experienced with cameras before and it was a big pleasure to see them photographing everything around them and especially each other. I had big difficulties in finding out who is who as they all looked so similar in their robes with shaved heads – but in the end I could make out their characters by their photos and from our conversations. By photos, sharing a bit of their life and interessting talks with their principal and other people I learned a lot about buddhism and how it is organised in Sikkim – and hope to share this in a good way!