Old Delhi is the central part and the symbolic heart of the city of Delhi and was founded in 1639 as the capital of the Mughal Empire. It has a predominantly Muslim population whose lives revolve around work and the Jama Masjid, one of the largest Mosques in India, standing in the midst of the old city.
Old Delhi is a labyrinth of tiny lanes and alleyways, displaying a seemingly multidimensional chaos of pedestrians, hawkers, bicycles, scooters, rickshaws, hand carts, dogs and cows. In the compact shops of its bazaars almost everything can be found, from garments, books, jewellery, spices, flowers, perfumes, electronics to spare parts for cars. Small restaurants often not more than a hole in the wall cater for passersby, merchants and beggars. Old Delhi is polluted, over-crowded, over-active, noisy and smelly, it is an assault on all senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. Nevertheless, it is an incredibly captivating place.
Many of the world’s old cities have developed into museums, if not outright destroyed, but not Old Delhi. Since I visited Old Delhi the first time in 1992, not much seems to have changed since then, apart from the abundant mobile phones.
This project is about capturing life in this fascinating, vibrant and energetic old city, aiming for images showing order within the visual chaos. All images were taken in January 2020, to be continued soon hopefully.