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“Walking the paths and trails along the Rouge River inspired and directed how I approached this project. It was chance encounters with people who have lived their whole lives near the river; the stories they told, their deep relationship to the landscape that gave context to these images.The changing seasons brought different people and different activities. Cross country skiers and mountaineers training in the winter and fisherman of all sorts in the spring. I ventured away from the river’s edge and met sixth generation dairy farmers, migrant workers from Mexico and locals ice skating on Cedarena – a historic rink in Cedar Grove. I walked the Rouge Park with volunteers who lead hiking groups through the Park. I met a scholar studying the politics of the watershed and I talked to naturalists working on protecting the endangered population of Blanding’s turtles, and all sorts of different stewards of the land who are working to rejuvenate the landscape and much more.This is a chronicle of a river created through images and conversations from people who intimately know it.”
– Surendra Lawoti
Nepal-born, Toronto-based photographer Surendra Lawoti’s work stems out from his interest in social issues, politics, documentary, art and beauty. He is interested in individuals, social groups and their milieus, those on the periphery of mainstream society. His current project, This Country of Yours, is based in Nepal and focuses on activists of six major social and political movements including women, indigenous nationalities and dalits (“untouchable” groups). His work has been exhibited in Toronto, Montreal, Chicago, Boston, Kathmandu, New Delhi and Medellín, Colombia. He teaches photography as a sessional professor at OCAD University and is represented by Gallery Kayafas in Boston.