In April 2019, I took my dearest friend and Berlin-based photographer Caroline Saage with me to Jaipur, Rajasthan. Oh what a journey, I will never forget, so much joy, so much sweat, and so many beautiful memories…
With Caroline, I developed the campaign KingsRobe, which so far was only shot in Berlin in summer 2018. Visually so expressive, I had in mind to extend this campaign and shoot directly in the village of the weavers, at the source, to involve and to talk visually about the origin where the rugs‘ been produced and to talk about the people who are involved in the production process.
Early morning, 4 AM we took the van to the village Dheeroda, a two hours’ drive from Jaipur, the village where nearly 400 people only work for RUG STAR. Our time was a bit pressured, due to the heat we had to make sure that we set up everything before sunrise.
In the arrival there was something magic, the village was at that moment quiet and tender.
We took off our shirts and wrapped us into the rugs and started the shoot, oh what a laugh. The curiosity grew by the minutes and it didn´t take long before the whole village surrounded us and asked to be involved. So we wrapped some times us, some times the weavers into the rugs, in the background often the original loom where the specific rug was knotted before.
Now it began to be hot, very hot, maybe 47 degrees Celsius, and having a rug with 35 KG on your shoulder is not the easiest thing, besides the fact that we should not sweat, as models never do.
We had to stop already before noon, it was just too hot to continue. Caroline couldn´t hold the camera anymore, we been covered in sweat and dust. But on the other side, this was the highlight I will never forget, the joy we brought to this village on that day I still can remember.
Our weavers clapped their hands and have been full of excitement and everybody was asking to come in front of the camera, we been one very joyful team and we left with so many beautiful memories.